Coronavirus Coverage

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - APRIL 23: A garbage collector is seen wearing face shield and facemask on April 23, 2020 in Manila, Philippines. The Philippines' main island Luzon, which includes the capital Manila, remains on lockdown as authorities continue to struggle with the growing number of COVID-19 cases. Land, sea, and air travels have been suspended, while government work, schools, businesses, and public transportation have been ordered to shutdown in a bid to keep some 55 million people at home. The Philippines' Department of Health has so far confirmed 6,981 cases of the coronavirus in the country, with at least 462 recorded fatalities. (Photo by Ezra Acayan/Getty Images)

The first documented coronavirus fatalities in the US were on February 26 in Washington, but now authorities believe there was an earlier case. The New York Post explains that a 57-year-old San Jose woman who died on February 6 is now thought to be the first American to die from the virus.

The outlet explains, “Patricia Dowd, a manager for a semiconductor company, died suddenly after she had appeared to recover from flu-like symptoms. Her death was at first believed to be from a heart attack.” But now new revelations are surfacing. “This week, authorities told her family that she tested positive for COVID-19, making her the first confirmed fatality from the illness in the nation.” This means that the virus was circulating in that area far earlier than previously suspected.

Dowd’s family explains that she became “unusually sick” in late January with flu-like symptoms. Her brother-in-law adds that she traveled abroad “multiple times a year to different global locations.”