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1 year later: Nevada’s ‘patient zero’ still feels lasting effects of COVID-19


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    LAS VEGAS (KVVU) — Nearly one year after becoming Nevada’s first confirmed COVID-19 patient, Ronald Pipkins said he’s still not feeling 100%.

Pipkins said he doesn’t remember much from last March because he was placed into a medically-induced coma after doctors at the VA Hospital confirmed he had the emerging novel coronavirus.

To this day, he’s not sure where he picked up the virus but believes it may have been during a trip to Washington in late February prior to his diagnosis.

“A couple of days after I got back, I started feeling extremely exhausted and very fatigued and my breathing was heavy,” he said.

After waking up from his coma and after being transferred to a rehab facility to recover, he finally got home in late April.

As for his underlying conditions, he has developed arthritis in both hands and that is preventing him from going back to work at the VA Hospital.

“My hands swell so I don’t know what kind of work I can do without typing,” he said.

As for the mounting death toll from the pandemic Pipkins has this message for everyone: “Without the vaccine, 500,000 people have died, so where do you think we can go?”

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