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Wozniak tweeted that his wife has a bad cough that started on January 4 when the pair returned from China. With the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the US on January 21, the pair could have been some of the first people to bring the virus to America—but it seems unlikely.
Checking out Janet’s bad cough. Started Jan. 4. We had just returned from China and may have both been patient zero in U.S. (@ West Coast Sports Institute in Santa Clara, CA) https://t.co/MRNHqithEU— Steve Wozniak (@stevewoz) March 2, 2020
Speaking to USA Today, Janet Wozniak said that she had been diagnosed with a sinus infection after getting checked out.
Wozniak told CNET that the pair were both suffering from a sore throat and coughing on their return from China, which turned into “the worst flu of our lives.” He notified the CDC, but the agency only sent “a boilerplate response" about washing his hands.
“Because we had GI symptoms, it may have been some other virulent flu. Janet was coughing up blood and went to the hospital and they said it was no American flu. We have not been able to get tested in this country. Had our return from SE Asia been today, we'd certainly have been tested and quarantined, with the symptoms we had. But it wasn't treated as important back then,” he said.
Wozniak added that while the patient zero remark was “kind of a joke,” he believes the pair could have had coronavirus because the CDC won’t test them now as it’s past the time period considered for symptoms.
“I think that our GI symptoms would fit some other flu because you rarely hear of that with COVID-19. But there's no way to ruse us out.”
There have been six deaths in the US from the coronavirus, all in Washington state. There are also nine cases in Santa Clara. Wozniak lives in Los Gatos, California.