Health Department Map of Covid-19 cases as of 3/23/2020.

A north-central Iowa woman spent six days in the hospital being treated for COVID-19 and she’s urging Iowans to heed the warnings and stay home, if possible.

The 38-year-old from Kossuth County spoke with the media after her release under the condition of anonymity. She says she doesn’t know how or where she contracted coronavirus. “For the first week, I really had no idea this is what it could be,” she says. “I checked every box for just having the flu.”

She describes when the sickness reached its peak. “At its worst, I was on a ventilator, not being able to breathe on my own and just the fear of it all weighed on me a lot,” she says. “It was pretty tough.” She admits, through tears, there were times she feared she’d die from COVID-19.

“I did have those moments and I never thought at 38 years old that I would.” She pleads with everyone to take this virus seriously and to take the necessary precautions.  “It’s uncharted territory that we’re in. This is something that we’re experiencing that we’ve never experienced before, but please, everyone, just stay home,” she says. “Spend time with your families. Do what the CDC and your local health department is asking you to do because this is not a joke.”

The last numbers from state health officials showed 105 cases are confirmed statewide in 26 counties, with 7 people currently hospitalized.

(By Rob Jones, KFVD, Fort Dodge)