With infections increasing once more, and hospitalization rising among older adults, health experts offer a timely warning: a coronavirus infection can look different in older patients.

By Paula Span

One day in March of 2020, Rosemary Bily suddenly grew so tired she could barely get out of bed. “She slept a lot,” said her son-in-law Rich Lamanno. “She was wiped out for most of a month.” Ms. Bily, now 86, also developed nausea and diarrhea, along with a slight cough, and subsisted mostly on Tylenol and Gatorade.

A few days later her husband, Eugene Bily, 90, started coughing and became lethargic as well.

Had it not been for a family gathering a few days earlier, the children of the Bilys would not have suspected the new coronavirus. They might have blamed the flu, or simply advancing age. “What we heard on TV was ‘high fever, can’t breathe’ — and they had neither,” Mr. Lamanno recalled.

But about a dozen guests had gathered at a restaurant in Rockville Centre, Long Island, earlier that month to celebrate a niece’s birthday, and one by one most of them fell ill with Covid, including Mr. Lamanno and his wife.

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