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'I felt like I had a belt around my chest': A congressman who was hospitalized for 8 days with the coronavirus tells his story

Added 04-06-20 02:14:02pm EST - “The 45-year-old Utah Democrat was as healthy as could be. Then he contracted the coronavirus, and needed oxygen for days.” - Businessinsider.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Businessinsider.com: “'I felt like I had a belt around my chest': A congressman who was hospitalized for 8 days with the coronavirus tells his story”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Because members travel back and forth between their districts, met with strangers and constituents, and packed into the Capitol's tight corridors and elevators, the question wasn't if a member of Congress would get it, but who would get it first.

On March 18, Rep. Ben McAdams, a Utah Democrat, became one of the first two congressmen to announce they had contracted COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

For a few days, he experienced what some would consider mild symptoms. But then the disease took a turn. The 45-year old, who said he exercises daily, wound up in the hospital for over a week as he battled the disease. Over the course of his illness, his fever would spike to as high as 103 degrees Fahrenheit, and he received supplemental oxygen and X-rays to monitor his beleaguered lungs.

Now virus-free and on the mend at home in Utah, McAdams spoke with Insider about how insidious the virus can be, and how his experience informed what he thinks Congress needs to do to protect Americans — and itself.

McAdams began experiencing symptoms on March 14, just a few hours after he joined hundreds of his House colleagues to vote on a massive coronavirus relief package. In hindsight, he believes he might have contracted the illness during a meeting with a constituent that week.

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