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First African to Be Diagnosed With Coronavirus is Also the First to Recover: ‘I Don’t Want to Take This Sickness Back to Africa’

A Cameroonian student is on the way to a full recovery from the coronavirus as the rest of the world is grappling with the virus.

Kem Senou Pavel Daryl, 21, contracted the virus while living in Zhengzhou. the capital of China’s Henan province, the Chinese Embassy to Cameroon reported on Twitter this month. He experienced flu-like symptoms, a fever and dry cough. During his treatment, which reportedly began on Jan. 28, Daryl received antibiotics and medicine usually reserved for HIV patients.

A Cameroonian student living in China is the first known African to be diagnosed with coronavirus and the first to recover. (Photo: Mladen Antonov/AFP via Getty Images)

Daryl is currently no longer hospitalized and is under a two-week quarantine in his dormitory as he continues making a recovery. A recent CT scan did not show any signs of the virus, making him the first known African to be infected and the first to be cured. No other African victims of the virus are known as of this writing.

Although the illness made him think about his mortality, Daryl did not want to leave China — even he’d been allowed to — for a very important reason.

“No matter what happens I don’t want to take the sickness back to Africa,” he told the BBC.

Additionally, his care is being covered by the Chinese government.

“I don’t want to go home before finishing studying. I think there is no need to return home because all hospital fees were taken care of by the Chinese government,” he added.

There are currently 80,000 African students living in China. Concerns about the nations’ abilities to handle the potential health crisis have left those living abroad stranded.

Approximately 1,770 people have died from coronavirus in China and another 72,000 people have been infected. There are 15 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, but the number could increase due to the recent evacuation of a quarantined Japanese cruise ship. Fourteen infected Americans were flown back into the country on Sunday night and will remain quarantined for 14 days.

Coronavirus has prompted reaction from concerned Americans, but Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, insists chances of contracting the illness in the U.S. are slim. In fact, Americans are worrying about the wrong virus.

“We have more kids dying of flu this year at this time than in the last decade or more,” Fauci told USA Today. “At the same time people are worrying about going to a Chinese restaurant. The threat is [we have] a pretty bad influenza season, particularly dangerous for our children.”

Also, those masks everyone is wearing are a waste of money.

“If you look at the masks that you buy in a drug store, the leakage around that doesn’t really do much to protect you,” Fauci explained. “People start saying, ‘Should I start wearing a mask?’ Now, in the United States, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to wear a mask.”

If you’re still worried, there are easy ways to prevent sickness.

“Wash your hands as frequently as you can. Stay away from crowded places where people are coughing and sneezing. If in fact you are coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth,” he added.

“You know, all the things that we say each year.”

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