Chris Cuomo reveals setback in his fight against coronavirus

The CNN host admitted he "got a little cocky" in thinking his fight against the coronavirus was almost over until he experienced this symptom.
/ Source: TODAY

CNN host Chris Cuomo thought he was getting close to the end of his fight against the coronavirus before experiencing a setback.

On his show Tuesday night, Cuomo detailed how he tried to make it 72 hours without a fever after he stopped taking Tylenol, which is one of the milestones doctors want to see when deciding if a person can come out of isolation at home after testing positive for COVID-19.

"I got close. I got to 60 (hours). And I have to be honest, I got a little cocky," Cuomo said. "I started thinking about: 'Oh great, I can't wait. I want to get retested and then I'm gonna do this, and then I'm gonna do that.'

"It's not the way COVID works. The more I learn anecdotally and from the clinicians who are treating it, it comes in waves."

It's the latest frustration for Cuomo, 49, who has previously shared the mental toll that the illness has taken on him. He also has spoken about experiences like losing 13 pounds in three days, chipping a tooth because he was shivering so hard, enduring "scary" chest X-rays and even having a hallucination of his late father, former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, who died five years ago.

In his latest setback, Cuomo's fever was "in the range of normal" for 60 hours before it returned and spiked to 101 degrees for about two hours.

Cuomo's guest on Tuesday night, CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, said the 72-hour mark with no fever without the use of Tylenol is one of multiple factors that doctors want to see when deciding if a coronavirus patient at home can come out of isolation. Cuomo has been isolated in his family's basement for the 15 days since he tested positive for COVID-19.

Download the TODAY app for the latest coverage on the coronavirus outbreak.

Doctors also are looking to see if respiratory symptoms have improved or gone away completely for at least seven days since symptoms began, according to Gupta.

While the recurring fever remains a problem, Cuomo had some positive news as far as his respiratory symptoms are concerned.

"My breathing, much better, so I'm still super lucky, super blessed compared to so many of the other people I've heard about, but I've got to start again," he said. "That's just how it goes. My body's not ready 'til it's ready, and all I know is I'm gonna throw everything I can at this."

A breathing technique demonstrated by a British doctor that helps get the lower part of a person’s lungs to expand so any mucus that’s collecting there can be dislodged and coughed out has been particularly helpful for Cuomo.

"I do the breathing exercises, I think that's why it's helping my lungs, and the fever - I just gotta chill and let my body do what it does,'' he said.

While the resurgence of his fever "stung a little bit," it was the latest reminder for Cuomo that the coronavirus is a serious illness.

"People are struggling all over this country,'' he said. "I hear those struggles. ... No matter how long it takes, we'll get it through it, and we'll get through it together."