An urgent care founder and doctor, who has worked in emergency rooms in the tri-state area for years, has returned to work once more after contracting and beating COVID-19. Saying it was a "unique experience" to be both a doctor and patient, he is now urging people to continue to stay home and take care of themselves.
Dr. Jake Deutsch, founder of CURE Urgent Care in New York, said he’s not sure where he contracted the virus, but he started showing symptoms on March 13, and his symptoms quickly worsened.
“I tested myself because we were able to get tests early. My journey with coronavirus was severe. I had bilateral pneumonia,” Deutsch told InsideEdition.com.
Deutsch was hospitalized, but eventually discharged because he was able to breathe on his own.
“It was a pretty scary ride for the next week, no sense of smell or taste, just laying at home and quarantining,” Deutsch added.
He said he was sick for 13 days. His father, who was also diagnosed with the novel coronavirus after visiting New York, is still hospitalized in Las Vegas, but is getting better. Deustch stressed that the way COVID-19 shows up in people varies greatly and said everyone who can, should stay home.
“Everybody’s symptoms are different,” Deustch said. “They range from mild to more severe expressions such as: high fevers, severe body aches, lung problems. The people that have the most severe illness have the most respiratory compromise.”
He also believes the numbers of people affected have not been properly calculated. He said he thinks the real number of people affected in the United States could be in the millions.
“It’s impossible to test everybody,” Deutsch said. “I see doctors that can’t get tested because they have to get checked into the hospital to get tested, which doesn’t make sense. There is a significant number of cases that we're unable to record. It misinforms people. Being on the front lines give us a lot of hope that people are going to be OK.”
He also noted, however, that he has had colleagues that have been very sick and doctors who have been put on ventilators.
As of Tuesday morning, there were 370,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S., and 11,000 deaths.
Deutsch said the majority of people have milder symptoms or are asymptomatic, and so they should continue to quarantine.
“Don’t underestimate how contagious the virus is. You’re feeling OK, but this is still the same virus that could affect your grandmother or neighbor and get them very sick,” he said.
He also urged the public to give themselves a break from the news.
“Make sure you’re not overloading on information, the stress and anxiety related to being sick is significant," he said. "We want people to be educated, but don’t over inundate yourself with information. It’s a traumatic experience for many.”