The earliest COVID-19 patients faced stigma, bigotry. But experts say their contributions to science taught much about the virus

The earliest COVID-19 patients faced stigma, bigotry. But experts say their contributions to science taught much about the virus
Amita Health St. Alexius Medical Center Hoffman Estates nurse Monica Gomez puts on personal protective equipment before entering a patient's room, Sept. 10, 2020. - Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS

CHICAGO — She was known as Patient 1.The Chicago woman in her 60s had traveled on Christmas Day to Wuhan, China, where she cared for her elderly father who had fallen ill to a mysterious, undiagnosed respiratory sickness.After returning to Chicago in mid-January, her own symptoms emerged: fever, cough and fatigue, followed by nausea and dizziness.While hospitalized for pneumonia, she became the first patient in Illinois and the second in the nation to test positive for the novel coronavirus, a new and little-understood illness that would soon burgeon into an international pandemic, sickening m...

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