We were some of the first people in the world to get coronavirus. This is what it’s actually like

Louis Staples
Friday 13 March 2020 13:30
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Following the World Health Organization's decision to officially declare Covid-19 a pandemic, coronavirus panic is spreading almost as quickly as new cases of the virus itself.

We’ve heard a lot about the symptoms of coronavirus and how to give yourself the best chance of avoiding it.

But what’s it like to actually have it?

Around 110,000 people currently have the virus worldwide, which is a tiny proportion of the world’s population. So meeting someone who actually knows that they have it – or had it – is unlikely.

But patients from the UK and around the world are now describing what it’s actually like to have coronavirus.

The Manchester Evening News gathered a variety of experiences from several people who caught Covid-19 and told their experiences to media outlets across the globe.

Connor Reed, who lives in Wuhan, China, was one of the first British people to catch the coronavirus.

He got it November, weeks before it became known to the Chinese authorities.

The 25-year-old English teacher described how he started out with “just a sniffle”, which he was trying to treat using traditional remedies, before guessing that he had the flu.

This is no longer just a cold. I ache all over, my head is thumping, my eyes are burning, my throat is constricted.

He said his “bones were aching” and he had a “hacking cough”.

After 11 days he thought he was on the mend, but said it was “back with a vengeance” the next day.

I’m sweating, burning up, dizzy and shivering. The television is on but I can’t make sense of it. This is a nightmare.

I can’t take more than sips of air and, when I breathe out, my lungs sound like a paper bag being crumpled up. This isn’t right. I need to see a doctor.

He was diagnosed with pneumonia and a few days later said he ached "as if I've been run over by a steamroller".

Jaimuay Sae-ung, 73, was the first Thai person to contract coronavirus.

Her symptoms included a fever and a bad cough, but she developed pneumonia while in quarantine and her family were worried she might die.

She told told Sky News:

I only knew (I had coronavirus) after I came to the hospital.

I felt a bit sad, a bit shocked, tired and fatigued and I couldn't eat.

After 10 days, her condition had improved and she was discharged.

This unidentified Irish man is currently being treated for coronavirus in hospital.

He told the RTE’s Claire Byrne Live show:

The only symptoms I had was, basically, the fever. I didn’t have any respiratory problem, any lung inflammation, any cough, any sneezing so was just the fever.

I actually feel great now. I had a fever for a couple of days and now from Friday, I don’t have any more symptoms and so I am just here in the hospital being tested for the virus.

The only thing I would say is that it is boring, I am here and I just have to read, watch some movies and that’s the only things. Apart from that I am fine.

Carl Goldman from Santa Clarita was a passenger on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship and later tested positive for coronavirus.

He said the virus “hasn't been that bad”.

Quoted an article for The Washington Post, he said that he developed a fever and “a bit of a cough” during his flight back to America and was quarantined on his return.

I am in my late 60s, and the sickest I’ve ever been was when I had bronchitis several years ago. That laid me out for a few days.

This has been much easier: no chills, no body aches. I breathe easily, and I don’t have a stuffy nose.

My chest feels tight, and I have coughing spells.

If I were at home with similar symptoms, I probably would have gone to work as usual.

Bridget Wilkins, who lives in London, is now quarantined in a hospital in Brisbane after testing positive for coronavirus.

She says she’s suffered from a headache, a sore throat and tiredness. She initially attributed her symptoms to jetlag after taking a long flight.

Speaking to Australia's 7NEWS she said:

There’s a lot of hype and hysteria on the news around coronavirus.

There should be. It’s very serious, particularly for the elderly and people with existing conditions.

But I think we have to calm down, because for most people, like myself, it is just a long cold that we can shake off.

It just goes to show us all that different people with Covid-19 respond to it in different ways, which could depend on an variety of factors.

The best thing to do is keep up to date with the latest WHO guidelines.

H/T: Wales Online / Manchester Evening News

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