Medical Health

New Orleans woman, 39, found dead while awaiting coronavirus test results

A 39-year-old woman who was ‘in good health’ has died days after she was tested for coronavirus – after she initially turned down a test because she thought she was low-risk.

Natasha Ott, of New Orleans, was found dead on her kitchen floor Friday by her longtime partner, Josh Anderson, while she was still awaiting her Covid-19 test results. 

Anderson shared the heartbreaking story in a Facebook post Saturday, stating: ‘The time for joking about Covid-19 is over. Now is the time to keep yourself, your loved ones, and everyone else safe.’

Anderson explained that Ott first came down with cold symptoms on Tuesday, March 10.

Ott, who was a social worker and a Peace Corps alumni, told her partner in a text message that it felt ‘like a respiratory cold’ and that she felt she had ‘a tiny fever.’

Natasha Ott, of New Orleans, was found dead on her kitchen floor Friday by her longtime partner, Josh Anderson, while she was still awaiting her Covid-19 test results

Ott and Anderson are pictured in a recent photo shared on social media

Ott was able to obtain a coronavirus test through her place of employment, where she worked as a counsellor for HIV positive patients. 

However, as she was young and heathy, Ott believed she was low-risk and turned down one of the five test kits available so more vulnerable people could use them. 

She instead went to her local doctor to take a flu test, which came back negative several days later. 

Ott texted her boyfriend Friday, March 13th and wrote: ‘Hey, they don’t think I need to get tested unless I develop a fever. All looks well.’

However, over the weekend Ott became heavily fatigued and feverish, and texted Anderson Sunday night: ‘Hey, I’m not feeling so hot still. I may be testing at work tomorrow. I’m probably fine. I just tried to drink some medicinal whiskey and feel unwell. I’m ok. I love you.’

Ott took the COVID-19 test on Monday, March 16, but was told test results could take several days to come back. 

Two days later, still waiting to hear back about her test results, Ott texted Anderson: ‘I don’t want to be sick anymore’ and ‘I just don’t understand why I don’t feel much better yet.’ 

Ott first came down with cold symptoms on Tuesday, March 10, but initially turned down a Covid-19 test available through her work as she wanted to leave them for more vulnerable people

On Thursday, March 18, Ott said she was feeling better than she had in days, and Anderson came by her house so the couple could take her dog for a walk – although they maintained spatial distance from one another. 

Anderson wrote on Facebook: ‘She had more energy than she’d had in days, and she ended up walking [her dog] Zola with me. She did complain that she felt like ‘something’ was in her lungs. She also mentioned that her Coronavirus test results were delayed, and likely wouldn’t come back until Monday’.

On Friday morning, Ott texted Anderson: ‘Good morning! I love you.’

Anderson replied: ‘Morning, sunshine, How you feeling? 

‘A little better and hopeful,’ Ott replied, adding: ‘The herbs seem to be working.’

Throughout Friday, Anderson continued to send text messages to Ott, but they went unanswered.    

More than 26,000 people have tested positive to Covid-19 in the United States, and 346 people have died

‘Natasha was a profoundly kind, passionate, funny and loving 39-year-old woman in good health’: Heartbroken partner Josh Anderson shared a heartbreaking tribute on Facebook

Anderson explained on Facebook: ‘I called twice, with no-reply.’

‘I wrote: ‘I’m getting nervous. Just called twice. Text or call me soon. If I don’t hear from you within the hour I’m coming over there to check on you.”

Hearing nothing back, Anderson went to Ott’s home on Friday evening. 

He entered the home to find her dead on the kitchen floor. 

‘Seeing a woman I knew to be so full of life lying on the floor lifeless was devastating. I was afraid to touch her. I held her anyway,’ he emotionally wrote on Facebook. 

Paying tribute to his longtime love, he continued: ‘Natasha was a profoundly kind, passionate, funny and loving 39-year-old woman in good health…  she loved those who were fortunate enough to be close to her with every ounce of her heart.’ 

He added: ‘The absolute least-interesting thing about her was the way that she died, but I’d like to talk about that here now because I’d like everyone to wake-up to the reality of what we are facing.’

Ott’s coronavirus test results are still pending, and are not expected to be released until Monday. 

Anderson shared the heartbreaking story on Facebook. The post has already been shared thousands of times

Disturbing new research published by the CDC reveals that are not immune from the impacts of COVID-19.  

Among 508 American patients known to have been hospitalized between February 12 and March 16, 38 percent were between ages 20 and 54.

And roughly 47 percent of 121 patients taken to intensive care units were under age age 65, the CDC found.

The number of coronavirus cases in the US is climbing dramatically each day. As Ott’s rest results have not yet come in, it is unclear whether she will be added to the list


On Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the first ‘point-of-care’ coronavirus test which can be used in hospitals and emergency rooms, delivering test results in 45 minutes. 

 The new test was developed by the company Cepheid which plans to have it on sale by the end of March.

The FDA granted the California-based company ’emergency use authorization’ for the test rapid molecular test which will decrease the testing process by days. 

By cutting the wait for results down to 45 minutes, doctors can almost immediately decide on the best treatment for patients which will ‘help alleviate the pressure’ on struggling healthcare facilities flooded with large numbers of cases and people requiring testing. 

‘You can collect a specimen, it can be out of a car or anywhere but then it gets batched with another batch of specimens and gets sent to the reference lab and that takes time,’ explains Cepheid’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. David Persing, of the current testing system. 

‘And then the reference lab takes time to build up the batches and all of that adds up to days or turnaround time so it’s not quick.’

‘For real-time patient management systems to be made in hospitals, what’s really needed is a test to determine rapid status of infection on site when patients are being seen and admitted.

 ‘What we need now is a way to identify somebody who has SARS CV2 quickly who represents in a similar way in a relatively severe presentation who’s going to likely be admitted,’ he added.

‘What we’ve developed is a reference lab quality test which can be run at the point of care in about 45 minutes or less.’ 

While the test can be used in a doctor’s office it will go to hospitals and emergency rooms first when it goes on sale at the end of the month.  

The test has been developed to work with Cepheid’s GeneXpert Systems of which there are 5,000 located around the U.S. and 23,000 around the world. 

People fill out forms as they wait for a coronavirus test in Queens, New York


America’s voice of reason: How straight-talking Dr. Anthony Fauci, 79, is earning the trust of the public during the coronavirus outbreak 

If Dr. Anthony Fauci says it, you’d be smart to listen. 

As the coronavirus has upended daily life across the globe, Fauci has become the trusted voice in separating fact and fiction.

The fear and confusion of outbreaks aren’t new to Fauci, who in more than 30 years has handled HIV, SARS, MERS, Ebola and even the nation’s 2001 experience with bioterrorism – the anthrax attacks.

Fauci’s political bosses – from Ronald Reagan to Donald Trump – have let him do the explaining because he’s frank and understandable, translating complex medical information into everyday language while neither exaggerating nor downplaying.

If you quizzed former presidents about who influenced their views on infectious diseases, ‘Tony’s name would be first on the list, and you wouldn’t have to remind them,’ said former health secretary Mike Leavitt, who worked with Fauci on bird flu preparedness.

Fauci was born in Brooklyn in 1940, the son of pharmacy owners whose parents migrated to the US from Italy. 

President George W. Bush, who in 2008 awarded Fauci the Presidential Medal of Freedom, noted that even as a boy he showed an independent streak: In a neighborhood full of Brooklyn Dodgers fans, Fauci rooted for the Yankees. 

And despite being short in stature, Fauci captained the basketball team at the prestigious Regis High School, which he attended on a scholarship. 

He went on to College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, before completing an MD at Cornell University. 

‘My interest in medicine stems from my keen interest in people, in asking questions and solving problems,’ Fauci told the NIH Historical Office in a 1989 interview. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, has emerged as the most trusted public official during the coronavirus outbreak. He is seen right next to President Trump at the White House on Saturday

For his contributions, Fauci was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Bush in June 2008

At 79, the government’s top infectious disease expert is by age in the demographic group at high risk for COVID-19. 

But he’s working round the clock and getting only a few hours of sleep.  

Yet his vigor belies his age, and he credits it to exercise, including running. 

‘Getting outside in the day and hearing the birds and smelling the grass is kind of a very pleasing thing for me,’ he stated in 2016.  

Fauci runs long distances , and completed the 1984 Army Corps Marathon in 3 hours 37 minutes. 

While the top doctor usually runs daily, ‘rail, hail, or shine’  – the demands of his current role in the White House Coronavirus Task Force means he is now taking long walks on weekends. 

Fauci became head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in 1984, when the nation was in the throes of the AIDS crisis. 

He’s recalled the huge frustration of caring for dying patients in the NIH’s hospital with nothing to offer.

After hours, he’d chat with then-Surgeon General C. Everett Koop about what scientists were learning about AIDS, influencing Koop’s famous 1986 report educating Americans about the disease.

However, the midst of professional stress, workaholic Fauci found solace in his personal life. 

In 1985, at the age of 44, he tied the knot to nurse Christine Grady. The pair went on to have three daughters: Jennifer, Megan and Alison.  

Fauci is pictured with his wife Christine Grady and daughters Jennifer, Megan and Alison in the 1990s

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