A Dallas man who just tested positive for COVID-19 is now on the mend.
Hunter Howard, 50, came back from a ski trip in early March and within a week, he said, his symptoms got so bad, he considered going to the emergency room.
He has no underlying health conditions and had just returned from Aspen, CO, when five days later, what started as a low-grade fever slowly progressed into a dry cough, then a headache.
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The situation worsened over the next 24 hours.
"It became a heavier fever, and then the headaches got worse, and then body aches really set in. It went to night sweats that were pretty bad, then just general weakness," said the Dallas businessman.
"When I woke up on Saturday morning, I was having a tough time breathing. I could hear my lungs working to breathe. It was a bubbling, crackling noise."
He called his doctor who told him to isolate himself and if his labored breathing got worse, to go to the hospital.
He said what was worst was the fear of not knowing how bad it could get.
"Then you're trying to figure out, 'do I need to go in for respiratory help and what point do I go in?' No one was really giving me information about that."
Doctors did tell him to take large doses of Tylenol, which brought his fever down, and they referred him for a COVID-19 test.
On Monday, he drove through a testing tent in Dallas.
By this point, he said, many of his symptoms had improved.
Still, the test results two days later confirmed what he felt he knew all along: he had contracted the new coronavirus infection either while in Aspen or on the plane ride home.
Doctors have told him to stay in quarantine for two more weeks, during which he said he will focus on helping local businesses suffering during the coronavirus crisis.
"It really is just rest and relaxation. I've been trying to protect my immune system, my own health and there's not a whole lot you can do."
He said he will also focus on helping local restaurant owners during the crisis.
"I'm going to do as much as possible. Instead of ordering cans of soup and eating it here, I'm going to do everything I can to support local restaurants and have it delivered to me. Whatever I can do, that's what we all need to do during this time," said Howard.
He has contacted his family and friends who are self-monitoring.
He said one of the other members of his travel group is showing symptoms and being now tested.