U.S. Rep. Tom Rice, 2 family members have COVID-19

U.S. Rep. Tom Rice, 2 family members have COVID-19

U.S. Rep. Tom Rice, a South Carolina Republican, said Monday that he, his wife and their son have the coronavirus illness COVID-19.

In a statement, Rice called the illness COVID-19 the "Wuhan Flu," a term that has been criticized as inaccurate and even racist.

"We are all on the mend and doing fine," Rice said.

Several members of Congress have in the past contracted COVID-19. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., said late last month that he and his wife tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., said about the same time that he also tested positive for antibodies.

As of Monday, more than 2.1 million cases have been confirmed in the United States, with more than 116,500 deaths linked to the disease according to an NBC News count.

Rice said his son Lucas got sick last Sunday, was tested Tuesday and got results Friday.

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"By Wednesday, he had gotten really sick with a high fever and really bad cough. He turned the corner Saturday, and did not have fever yesterday," Rice wrote in the statement posted Monday on Facebook. "He’s still weak but getting stronger - moving around and eating a little."

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Rice said he got sick a week ago with mild symptoms, but lost the ability to smell or taste, something that has also been reported in some people sickened with the illness.

His wife became ill Thursday, Rice wrote. "She is worse than I was, but nowhere near as bad as Lucas." Rice wrote that the family is finishing their quarantine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines vary on when home isolation should end for those with COVID-19. But in general, for those who suspect they are sick or have tested positive, the CDC says it is safe to be around others after the following conditions have all been met: Three days with no fever and three days with no symptoms, and 10 days since symptoms first appeared.

The virus that causes COVID-19 was detected in Wuhan, China. Members of the Trump administration have previously sought to brand it as the "Wuhan virus," something that has been criticized by Chinese officials.