Could the coronavirus have been in Southwest Florida prior to when the state recorded the first case?

A Collier County woman believes she may have had it in January.

Lee Health announced Southwest Florida’s first case on March 7, but Thais Tepper of Chokoloskee said her antibody results confirm she was infected before the first cases were ever reported.

She describes it as one of the worst illnesses of her life.

“It is everything they say. It is the near-death experience,” she said.

Tepper believes she and her 28-year-old son became infected with the coronavirus after a trip to the East Coast of Florida in late January.

A few days later, their symptoms started.

“I’m feeling very dizzy and

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