Phoenix man has warning for other young people as he battles COVID-19

Thursday marked another day of record increase in COVID-19 cases in Arizona, with the Arizona Department of Health Services reporting 2,519 additional cases and 32 new deaths. That raised the state’s total to 43,443 with 1,271 deaths.

According to AZDHS figures, about 46% of COVID-19 patients in Arizona are aged 22 to 44, now, a Phoenix man in hospital has a warning for people his age.

Young COVID-19 patient shares tale of caution

Thirty-year-old Jimmy Flores is in the hospital after he struggled to breathe for several days and worried about finding a hospital bed.

"I just couldn’t take it anymore and I said, 'Guys, I’ve got to go to the hospital,'" said Flores. "I started to see these trends, like, if I don’t go now, I might not be able to get in."

Flores and a friend went to a crowded bar in north Scottsdale two Saturdays ago. As it turns out, the virus was out that night as well. Both men picked it up and brought it back home.

"This is serious, and it took me getting sick to realize it," said Flores. "I don’t want others to have to get sick and realize they could have prevented it."

With the help of doctors and nurses, Flores' fever is finally below 100°F, and his breathing is much better. Now, he’s living proof that COVID-19 is a deadly serious disease.

"People should take this seriously," Flores said. "It hurts. It really hurts, and I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. It sucks."

Flores is getting blood transfusions, along with an antiviral drug at the hospital. He hopes to be back home in four or five days.

As for Flores' friend, while he also got the virus, he did not go to the hospital.

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Additional resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - How it spreads, symptoms, prevention, treatment, FAQ (In Spanish/En Español)

Arizona COVID-19 Response - Public resources, FAQ, webinars (In Spanish/En Español)

In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends: 

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Stay home when you are sick.

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.