HOUSTON — Melissa Estrada had tried to be so careful about the coronavirus. For months she kept her three children at home, and she always wore a mask at the grocery store. She and her daughter even stitched face coverings for relatives and friends.

But over the weekend Ms. Estrada, 37, was fighting the virus at Houston Methodist Hospital after a week of treatments that included an experimental drug, steroids, intensive care and high doses of oxygen. She probably contracted the virus while attending a dinner with relatives who had also been cautious, she said. Within days, all four adults and several children who had been at the gathering tested positive for the coronavirus.

“It was really, really scary,” Ms. Estrada said of her illness. She worried constantly about leaving her children motherless. “You hear about it and you think it’s the older people or the people with underlying issues,” she said. “And I’m healthy. I don’t understand how I got this bad.”

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