'I've accepted that I will likely get COVID-19' UCSF doctor treating infected patient pleads for people to stay home

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A doctor at UC San Francisco -- who says he is currently treating coronavirus patients -- is pleading with people to stay home amid the outbreak. In a now-viral Facebook post, Sajan Patel, MD said he plans to continue treating patients for several more weeks, that he has "accepted that I will likely get COVID-19 doing so," and that the United States is on the "path to becoming the next Italy."

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"I have taken care of (the first cases in the Bay Area) and will be taking care of COVID-19 patients in the weeks and months to come," Patel wrote on Facebook.

"I've accepted that I will likely get COVID doing so, and I've heard first hand the harrowing stories of the intensivists at EvergreenHealth (describing what it's like to have 10+ patients die on you in days)," he continued, referring to a hospital in Washington state.

According to the UCSF website, Patel is an Assistant Professor Medicine in UCSF's Department of Medicine. As of this writing, his post has been shared 11,000 times.

"I beg all of you to please stay at home," Patel wrote, "Don't go to that event that you were so desperately excited to go to."

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Patel explained that he himself will be missing an incredibly important event to him this weekend, and that, "it has gutted me." But he explained that it's worth it.

"Make the hard the hard sacrifice for the sake of humankind," Patel wrote.

Officials say there are at least 200 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in the Bay Area. Two of those cases are healthcare workers at UCSF.

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Patel warned that the U.S. is on the path to becoming the "next Italy," where "conditions there for both patients and health care providers are truly unimaginable."

"Do your part to socially distance, cancel everything, and flatten the curve," he wrote. "The health of our people and healthcare system depends on it."

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