Around the world, there are now 125,7135 cases of coronavirus, and this is growing daily. Countries have declared lockdowns, limited travel and upped efforts to contain COVID-19, which has killed 4,598 people since it emerged in December 2019.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has now declared coronavirus a pandemic – due to the growing outbreaks across multiple countries.
Italy has now been placed in lockdown, with only essential shops allowed to open across the country.
This is to try and prevent further spread, as in Italy 12,462 people have been infected with the virus.
In the UK, there are 456 cases of coronavirus, and in total eight people have died.
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But what is it like to get coronavirus? Those who have had the illness have spoken out about its symptoms.
Symptoms of coronavirus include fever, coughing, feeling tired and achy, and in some instances shortness of breath and even pneumonia.
Those who have died in the UK have been elderly patients with pre-existing conditions.
Bridget Wilkins, from London, had flown back to her home country of Australia for a friend’s wedding, via Singapore, last week.
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Currently, Ms Wilkins is in isolation in Brisbane Hospital after testing positive for coronavirus.
The 29-year-old has compared her symptoms as akin to having a “long cold.”
Ms Wilkins acknowledged the “very serious” nature of the coronavirus outbreak but challenged if the “hype and hysteria” was warranted.
She said: “The message I’d like to put out to the world is that maybe someone has it already, and it’s very common symptoms, like a headache, or a sore throat or just being tired.
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“[I thought] I had those symptoms because I’d just travelled 30-plus hours. I’ve still got those symptoms, but nothing more than that.
“It’s certainly not as severe as some headlines are making it.
“I didn’t think I had coronavirus. I thought I had jetlag.”
Ms Wilkins said she had to miss her friend’s wedding and told Australian station 7NEWS she has “no idea” when, where and how she caught the virus.
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However, she thinks she may have caught coronavirus on her long flight from London to Brisbane.
Ms Wilkins hopes to be discharged from hospital this week and 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.
“There’s many more serious conditions that I think deserve the headlines and attention.”
Elsewhere, Connor Reed, an ex-pat from North Wales who now lives in the Chinese city of Wuhan, explained his symptoms after being believed to be one of the first Britons to catch COVID-19.
Wuhan is the city of origin for coronavirus, and Mr Reed contracted the virus in November.
This was a month before authorities in China officially announced the outbreak, and he thought he had a severe bout of flu.
However, after 24 days of feeling unwell, the hospital he was treated at eventually told him he had been one of the first people to get the new strain of coronavirus, now known as Covid-19.
Mr Reed, a 25-year-old English teacher, kept diary entries detailing his symptoms explaining how at first he tried to drink hot whisky and honey to alleviate his symptoms.
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He wrote: “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”.
When he reached day 11 he thought the flu had lifted, however, found it had come “back with a vengeance” the next day.
Mr Reed wrote: “I’m sweating, burning up, dizzy and shivering. The television is on but I can’t make sense of it. This is a nightmare.
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“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 then visited a doctor and several hours of tests said he was diagnosed with pneumonia.
A few days later, the pneumonia had gone but he said he ached “as if I’ve been run over by a steamroller”.
He wrote: “My sinuses are agony, and my eardrums feel ready to pop.
“I know I shouldn’t but I’m massaging my inner ear with cotton buds, trying to take the pain away.”
A couple of days later, Mr Reed reported he was feeling better.
If you suspect you have coronavirus, have travelled to one of the areas with high numbers of cases or have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with coronavirus, the advice is to ring NHS 111 and explain your symptoms.
You can also use the online NHS 111 coronavirus service for more information.
Published at Wed, 11 Mar 2020 22:31:00 +0000