COVID-19 in Louisiana: One year later

There’s a new warning from top U.S. health officials about coronavirus variants. Reports...
There’s a new warning from top U.S. health officials about coronavirus variants. Reports suggest those mutations could lead to a "rapid rise" in COVID-19 cases, if Americans become complacent.
Updated: Mar. 11, 2021 at 10:01 PM CST
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - On March 11, 2020 Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a public health emergency. The state had 13 presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 at the time, including one presumptive positive case in Caddo Parish, the first in northwest Louisiana.

Over the past year, there have been about 430,000 reported cases of COVID-19 in Louisiana; more than 9,000 Louisianans have died.

David Langston was the first person to test positive for the virus in Caddo Parish.

“I believe when I came back on Feb. 21 of last year through the Atlanta airport, I contracted the COVID-19 virus and didn’t know it,” Langston said. “The only ones who had it at the time were those on that cruise ship off the coast of California. No one in the United States had really been diagnosed yet.

“I got back and the next five days I felt fine,” he continued. “But then I started getting a scratchy throat and headache, stuff you would normally associate with the flu.”

Langston says it took several trips to the doctor to receive his COVID-19 diagnosis on March 11, 2020.

After he and his friend Caddo sheriff’s Cpl. Kevin Calhoun recovered from COVID-19, both donated plasma. Convalescent plasma therapy is being used to treat those who are severely ill with the virus.

“It feels good,” Langston said. “I asked myself why did I get this? Why was I the lucky lotto winner? I wish I could win the lottery like that. Now looking back I feel like I did because I’ve been able to help a lot of people. I donated as often as I could.

“If you were to ask me if I would go through it again, yes,” he added. “I think maybe I saved some lives. At least Dr. (Martha) Whyte has told me I saved her husband’s life. If that was all it was for, then it was a good thing.”

Now that Langston has received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, he can no longer donate plasma. But he encourages others who have recovered from COVID-19 and haven’t received their vaccine to do so.

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