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Two more members of tragic family test positive after virus killed four relatives

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Two more members of a US family devastated by coronavirus have tested positive after the disease killed four of their relatives.

Two more members of a US family devastated by coronavirus have tested positive after the disease killed four of their relatives.

Elizabeth Fusco tested positive for the illness after the deaths of her 73-year-old mother, Grace Fusco, her sister, Rita Fusco-Jackson, 55, and her brothers 55-year-old Carmine Fusco and Vincent Fusco last week in New Jersey, the New York Post reports.

Ms Fusco said her daughter, who has a pre-existing health condition, has also tested positive for the virus.

Both are continuing to self-quarantine in their home – a move they started last week as their family became possibly the worst-hit in the US amid the pandemic.

Ms Fusco is the youngest of 11 children.

Grace Fusco(centre) was unaware her son and daughter had been killed by COVID-19 when she died from complications of the same infection.

The family are all believed to have caught the virus at a gathering earlier this month.

Another family member, Gabrielle Cartagena, said on Facebook that she tested negative for the coronavirus and now just two family members remain hospitalised with the disease. Her mother is also one of the 11 children. 

Ms Cartagena said she had lost her grandmother, two uncles, and an aunt to the virus.

"As most of you have seen my family has been gravely affected my the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the world. I am extremely grateful for all of the love and support received from everyone!" Ms Cartagena wrote yesterday.

Ms Fusco's oldest sister, Rita Fusco-Jackson, died on March 13, the New York Times reported.

Then last week the deaths continued in rapid and startling succession.

Ms Fusco's mother and the family matriarch, Grace Fusco, died last Wednesday after being diagnosed with the coronavirus. Her brother, Carmine Fusco, had died just before their mother on the same day, according to the Times. Then on Thursday, another brother, Vincent Fusco Jr, died, a family member said.

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"It's absolutely surreal," Ms Fusco told CNN's Chris Cuomo.

"They were the roots of our lives ... It's like the second we start to grieve about one, the phone rings and there's another person gone, taken from us forever."

She'll never forget hearing her mother's last moments, she said.

"I listened to those doctors and those machines code my mother on the phone when she passed. I'll never get over that."

In addition to the deaths, three other relatives were hospitalised in New Jersey and 19 other family members have been tested for the virus and are anxiously awaiting results, Roseann Paradiso Fodera, the mother's cousin, said. 

They include children, parents and grandchildren, and are quarantined together.

New York state's death toll has reached 114, surpassing Washington state and accounting for a third of all US deaths.

How is coronavirus transmitted?

 The human coronavirus is only spread from someone infected with COVID-19 to another. This occurs through close contact with an infected person through contaminated droplets spread by coughing or sneezing, or by contact with contaminated hands or surfaces.

Coronavirus: How to self-isolate after landing in Australia | Explainer

 What are the symptoms of someone infected?

Coronavirus patients may experience flu like symptoms such as a fever, cough, runny nose, or shortness of breath. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia with severe acute respiratory distress.

Source: 9News

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