A mystery clouded the death of Patricia Dowd in early February.
The San Jose woman was a seemingly healthy 57-year-old who exercised routinely, watched her diet and took no medication. She had flu-like symptoms for a few days, then appeared to recover, a family member said. Then she was found dead Feb. 6, and the initial culprit appeared to be a heart attack.
This week, authorities confirmed to Dowd’s family that she tested positive for the novel coronavirus, making her the first such documented fatality in the nation.
Health authorities in Santa Clara County did not identify Dowd by name, describing the decedent as a 57-year-old woman who died at home. The Times independently confirmed her death from family members.
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