An NHS worker who had coronavirus has shared her story about having the disease in a bid to reassure people during the pandemic.
Laura Jacobs, 31, contracted the virus after her parents returned from Italy in mid-February – going through all the typical symptoms like a high fever, aches, a painfully tight chest and fatigue.
While she wants people to take the virus seriously and follow government guidance she also wants to alleviate any worries people may have.
Hospital worker, Laura, from Wales, posted on Facebook : “I feel like it’s important to share my story, especially with all of the current panic and unrest going on.
“My symptoms came from nowhere. I felt absolutely fine at work and then bang, all of the symptoms arrived at once.
“I had a high fever, shivers, intense aching pains in my back and neck, sore throat, painfully tight chest and fatigue.”
Along with Matthew, five-year-old daughter Ava and 10-month-old Miles, Laura was tested on Monday, March 9 – a day after her mother – by a nurse.
Laura’s mother Melissa Powell, and husband Matthew also came down with the coronavirus after testing positive at home.
She told Wales Online : “I wanted people to see that you shouldn’t take it lightly but also that there’s so much negative stuff being reported in the media, I think people just want reassurance.
“My mum had been to Italy and went to an area that wasn’t infected at the time, there were no reported cases, they came back on Sunday, February 22, within three days my mum started showing symptoms and then I caught it off her.”
Laura, from Neath, explained that her mother had worse symptoms as she has a history of pneumonia.
She said: “At first I thought I had the flu, I knew it wasn’t a cold. It was much worse, I hadn’t had my flu jab like every other year.
“As time went on we saw in the news there were reported cases in the part of Italy they went to and it couldn’t be a coincidence.
“So, Mam requested a test and was tested positive, that was Sunday March 8 and on March 9 – I was tested. At the time they were doing community testing, as only a handful people in Wales were confirmed to have it.
“A community nurse came to the house in protective clothing, a mask and visor. She tested me, my husband and children at the same time.
“It was awful. We did pre-warn my daughter she was okay with she wasn’t thrilled with the throat swab, but they were ok.
“The kids came back as negative and we were surprised because we are round them all the time, giving them hugs and kisses. But that goes to show, people are worried about their kids, I’ve had loads of messages from people, but it seems they are a lot more resilient to it.”
Laura said: “I did feel really unwell, I’m healthy, I’ve never been really really unwell to compare it.
“The worst was the fever for days, high temp shivers, horrible aching up my back and around my neck, you feel like you can’t move, exhausted.
“After the fever lifted, I started to feel a bit better in myself, it travelled down to my throat so I have a really sore throat and then I had a drier cough which I still have now. The fever is definitely the worst bit.”
However, husband Matthew was hit worse, as the 35-year-old has asthma and he developed viral pneumonia and was admitted to Morriston Hospital overnight.
“He is on the mend the past two days, he’s eating more,” she said, adding how the couple coped with having the family home in quarantine with two small children.
“The consultant advised us to isolate ourselves from the kids as much as possible, which is difficult as they are so young. But we just constantly wash hands before feeding and dressing them, anti-baccing door handles, tables remotes and avoiding hugs and kisses. Everything for Miles is sterilized anyway as he’s under one,” Laura said.
“It was hard, it was a little bit scary for my five-year-old. She was told all of a sudden she couldn’t go to school, go out of the house, go up the park and daddy is not well and there’s a nurse coming.”
Laura said she has had lots of messages about children and hoped her post would show people the virus, for most people wouldn’t have people unwell forever.
“I think people are just really frightened,” said Laura, who hopes that she’ll be able to practically help those coming down with the virus, when she is fully recovered.
“ I think it’s because it’s something new and unknown and you have no answers about how long you’ll be ill for, does it get worse, what are the complications and that’s a common thread in the messages I have had.