Infected Plattsburgh millennial offers advice: 'This is serious'

Published: Apr. 2, 2020 at 3:38 PM EDT
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There are at least 26 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Clinton County, New York, as of Thursday. Our Kelly O'Brien spoke to one of those who tested positive about the importance of self-isolating.

"Last Thursday I walked to work -- I typically walk to work -- and I got fatigued. I walked in and I had to sit down for a minute," said Jake Avery,

It was an unusual start to the morning for the 33-year-old who works at SUNY Plattsburgh's Center for Student Involvement.

After battling fatigue all day paired with headaches and achy bones, he went home, found out he had a fever and took a nap. That nap lasted 16 hours -- also unusual for Avery. That's when he contacted his doctor.

"She tested me immediately," Avery said. He waited five days for the confirmation. His partner also tested positive for the virus.

"It was heartbreaking, I think is the best way I would frame it," he said. "I was very much planning on getting the all-clear. I was looking for the negative so I could go for a run."

Over the last week he and his partner felt the symptoms come in waves. He says they have had little to no appetite and no sense of smell. "Had a hard time breathing, very tight chest, can't take deep breaths," Avery said.

He said he wants to share the experience they are facing to get the word out about how serious the virus is and that it can affect anyone and everyone -- the young, the healthy, even a marathon runner. Avery says he is now feeling weak and run down. "I went downhill quick," he said.

He doesn't know how he or his partner came in contact with the virus. He says he followed the rules of social distancing and that he only went to shop for essentials when needed. Now he wants others to know they can get the virus if they don't take it seriously. "Don't think this is nothing, especially those who are young and can wipe it clean and say its nothing. Get it checked out, this is serious. I was taking it serious, but this is more serious than I was taking it," Avery said.

Avery and his partner are under isolation until April 13th. The health department checks in with them daily to check their temperatures. He says that once he's healthy again, he's finally going to go on that run. And once this is all over, he says he'll take his partner out for a well deserved dinner.

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