“Breakthrough cases” of vaccinated Americans who contract COVID-19 are on the rise not only across the nation but here in San Diego County as well.
Of those local breakthrough cases was National City Fire Department Chief Frank Parra, who opened up about a treatment that helped him recover from the virus. He first was sickened with the coronavirus in July about a day or two after returning from vacation with his wife and some friends from church.
"We started not feeling well, took our temperatures and had a temperature of 101. We said, ‘Uh-oh, we're in trouble,’” Parra recalled.
The fire chief and his wife were diagnosed with COVID-19 and Parra said he felt ill for at least four days. He suffered through a high fever, cough, body aches and headaches while sick.
Get San Diego local news, weather forecasts, sports and lifestyle stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC San Diego newsletters.
He added that although he and his wife are fully vaccinated, they've become part of the thousands of breakthrough cases in San Diego County this year.
“It was frustrating, absolutely, because we were very careful on the trip,” Parra said. “I mean, on the plane, wearing KN95 masks.”
Chief Parra is used to fighting fires, but during this difficult time of his laugh, he and his wife battled the virus with the free monoclonal antibody treatment offered in San Diego County. Those with early symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, can get an infusion of proteins that act like antibodies to help fight off infections.
“Literally a day and a half later, we were feeling great,” Parra said. “I mean, great to the point where our last five days of quarantine, we were bored! Bored, silly.”
Since his recovery, Parra has been back on the job serving the National City community.