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Three members of same New Jersey family die after contracting coronavirus

A New Jersey mother and two of her eldest children died within days of each other after contracting coronavirus.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The spread of coronavirus across the U.S. has taken a particularly hard toll on one New Jersey family. 

According to the New York Times and NJ Advance Media, a New Jersey mother and two of her children died within days of each other after becoming infected with COVID-19.

Grace Fusco, 73, died Wednesday night just hours after her son, Carmine Fusco, died from the virus and five days after her daughter, Rita Fusco-Jackson, 55, died, according to a relative who spoke to the New York Times

Four more of Fusco's children remain hospitalized from the coronavirus, with three in critical condition, according to the newspaper. 

Fusco passed away without knowing her two eldest children had already died. She was "gravely ill" and was on a ventilator, according to Paradiso Fodero, a cousin and lawyer representing the family. 

Grace Fusco was a mother of 11 and grandmother to 27. She would hold large Italian-American family dinners at her home in Freehold, New Jersey every Sunday. The infections appeared to have originated from one of those family dinners this month, the newspaper reported. 

It is believed John Brennan, the first man to die of the coronavirus in New Jersey, had recently attended a family gathering and potentially exposed the virus to the group, NJ.com reported. 

The family learned the day after the death of Fusco's eldest child, Rita Fusco-Jackson, that she had tested positive for coronavirus. 

Dr. James Matera, chief medical officer of CentraState Medical Center, told the Times officials are trying to determine why the disease might have progressed so rapidly with family members. 

Matera said 27 community members were tested for the coronavirus and are still awaiting their results. 

In New Jersey there are at least 427 reported coronavirus cases.  

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The family is now calling for an autopsy of Fusco-Jackson, who was reportedly healthy prior to the virus, to learn more about how the virus killed her. 

While most people who contract COVID-19 only suffer mild symptoms, it can lead to severe illness for those who are at high-risk.