Fort Worth Family Is Proof Coronavirus Is Very Contagious

Teenager, siblings, parents all get sick within days

NBCUniversal, Inc.

One of the youngest victims of coronavirus in North Texas is out of the hospital, but not before several other family members fell ill.

When Mendel Mandel got sick, he went downhill fast, developing double pneumonia and spiking a temperature of 105 degrees.

“That’s the first time I remember it going that high,” the 18-year-old said. "I wasn't able to move so well. Whenever I walked, I felt like it took a lot of effort. I felt like I was falling over."

He spent five days in Cook Children’s Medical Center, a lesson for other young people that they aren't immune and should stay at home as much as possible.

Mandel Family Photo

"A lot of us are very dependent on our friends,” he said.

About the time he went to the emergency room, his mother started to feel sick.

"I started getting headaches in the hospital, but I thought I'm in a high-stress situation,” Chana Mandel said.

Sure enough, with him in the hospital, she came down with the same symptoms.

"You're scared you're going to fall,” she said. “That's how weak you feel."

Several of Mendel's seven sisters started to get sick too, but they are younger and their symptoms were much more mild.

His father fell ill also.

"Wednesday and Thursday is when I started feeling weak, weaker and weaker,” Dov Mandel said.

Only Mendel Mandel took a test for COVID-19 and was positive, but the other family members are confident they also had the virus because they experienced the same symptoms.

The Mandels have family members in New York, the epicenter of the outbreak, who also have been sick.

Dov Mandel said his brother and sister and their families also got the virus.

"It's extremely contagious,” Dov Mandel.

The Mandel family said they're proof of that even as they feel better now.

Contact Us