Autopsy reveals horrific way the first American died from coronavirus

The first American to die from coronavirus passed away because her heart ruptured attempting to fight the virus an autopsy has revealed.

It was believed the first coronavirus death in the country was on February 29 in Washington but autopsies have recently revealed the first death due to the virus happened weeks earlier.

Californian Patricia Dowd, 57, died on February 6 of a suspected heart attack but officials now say the woman had COVID-19.

Patricia Dowd, 57, is the first woman to have died from coronavirus in the US
Patricia Dowd, 57, died on February 6 of a suspected heart attack but officials now say the woman had COVID-19. Source: Facebook

A forensic pathologist who reviewed Ms Dowd’s autopsy report published in the San Francisco Chronicle said the heart “muscle was infected, causing her heart to rupture”.

Dr Judy Melinek told The Mercury News there was an indication Ms Dowd’s heart had weakened.

“The immune system was attacking the virus and in attacking the virus it damaged the heart and then the heart basically burst,” she explained.

Before Ms Dowd was found dead "she had flu-like symptoms for a few days, then appeared to recover," the Los Angeles Times reported.

Rick Cabello, Ms Dowd's older brother, said she was in good health and her family believed she died from a heart attack.

"She was an athlete in her high school days, she was always active," Mr Cabello told CNN on Wednesday.

Five days before her death, her brother said she called to cancel plans

"She wasn't feeling well, which was very unusual for her, I remember her specifically saying 'I'm not feeling well,'" Mr Cabello said.

On the day of her death Ms Dowd began working from home at 8am, two hours later she was found dead.

Ms Dowd’s husband requested the autopsy as his wife was in overall good health and exercised regularly before becoming unwell.

It’s still unclear how Ms Dowd contracted the virus and there was no recent travel that would have exposed her to coronavirus.

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