2 die in Miami-Dade from COVID-19, first identified as 40-year-old man

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MIAMI (WSVN) - Miami-Dade County has reported its first two coronavirus-related deaths, and one of them has been identified as a 40-year-old man with no prior health issues or complications, according to family members.

Israel Carreras was identified as the first death in Miami-Dade, Friday. Later that evening, a 79-year-old man was reported as the county’s second death.

Carreras succumbed to the virus after his friends said he contracted it during the Winter Party festival in Miami, where several other cases of the virus had appeared.

Franco Conquista, the victim’s partner, said at first, he isolated at home but got progressively more sick. Eventually, he was taken to the hospital, where he would later succumb to the virus.

“He started to feel sick after the event,” Conquista said. “We went together. I went to his place, taking care of him for two days, and I also had it. He couldn’t breathe, so he wanted to go to the hospital, and then, he was at the hospital for four or five days. Then, they put him to sleep because he was really agitated, and then, he never woke up again.”

According to family members, Carreras lived in Miami and was well-known in the area. The 40-year-old Cuban native had lived in South Florida for several years.

Friends described him as a hard worker who worked about 14 hours per day at a warehouse and as an Uber driver, so he could save money to send to his family in Cuba every month.

“Israel was a very hard-working man,” Conquista said. “He was full of energy, and he was working 13, 14 hours a day, so he could provide for himself and provide for his family back in Cuba.”

Healthcare workers said it is not uncommon for a patient to be put into an induced coma when the patient is having severe trouble breathing and has to be put on a respirator. Doctors said they will put the patient in the induced coma, so they do not try to pull the respirator out.

Doctors added that having the respirator on almost feels as if the patient is drowning, and in an attempt to get air, they may pull out the respirator thinking it may help. However, healthcare workers said, it will do the opposite.

Conquista added that he feels distraught and is at home in isolation because he said he has the coronavirus.

“Just want people to know that this is serious,” Conquista said. “They need to stay at home. It doesn’t just kill old people. This poor boy had only 40 years old. It can kill anybody, so just stay home and think of other people. Try to save other people’s lives. Just because you are not affected directly doesn’t mean that people are not suffering from this.”

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