U.S. Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart says he’s reunited with his family after recovering from the novel coronavirus following his positive test last month.
Díaz-Balart is also offering to donate his plasma in an effort to help those still fighting the virus.
The Congressman from Florida’s 25th Congressional District was the first confirmed coronavirus case among members of Congress. He announced the positive test back on March 19, though he had begun self-quarantining a few days prior.
But Sunday, Díaz-Balart announced on Twitter he had been deemed free of the virus by his doctor and was able to reunite with his family.
“Though still a bit weak, I feel well, [and] I applied to participate in the @RedCross plasma donation to help those with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections,” Díaz-Balart added.
Those plasma donations are valuable due to antibodies built up by those infected with the virus. Doctors hope that transferring plasma from recovered coronavirus patients — which contains those antibodies — into those still reeling from the virus can help the infected recover.
Experiments are still ongoing to help test the effectiveness of that treatment.
In some ways, it’s unsurprising Díaz-Balart was the first member to test positive for the virus. His congressional district is located inside Miami-Dade County, which is a hotbed for the virus here in Florida.
As of a Sunday evening update, Miami-Dade County had 4,146 confirmed cases of the virus. That’s more than one-third of total cases in the entire state.
And Díaz-Balart wasn’t the only leader in the region to test positive for the virus. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez also contracted the virus after interacting with a Brazilian official who later tested positive. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez went into self-isolation as well after making contact with that official, though he tested negative for the virus.
Most who show symptoms from the virus develop a fever or cough and may have trouble breathing, though they do recover. However, older individuals and those with underlying health risks are susceptible to developing more severe symptoms.