Washington state woman, 37, who beat a mild case of coronavirus says early symptom was a headache

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A Washington state woman who has recovered from coronavirus says she experienced no coughing or sneezing and claims she recovered by staying at home and taking over-the-counter medicine. 

Elizabeth Schneider lives in Seattle, the biggest city in state which also has the highest coronavirus death rate in the United States, with 31 people dead. 

Schneider said she first began experiencing flu-like symptoms on February 25, three days after going to a party that was later identified as the place where at least five other people also got infected.

The 37-year-old, who has a PhD in bioengineering, said she ‘woke up and I was feeling tired, but it was nothing more than what you normally feel when you have to get up and go to work’. 

She didn’t suspect she had the virus as she had been busy in the week before, but by midday, however, she felt a headache coming on, along with a fever and body aches.  

Elizabeth Schneider lives in Seattle and first began experiencing flu-like symptoms on February 25, three days after going to a party where at least five other people also got infected with coronavirus

Elizabeth Schneider lives in Seattle and first began experiencing flu-like symptoms on February 25, three days after going to a party where at least five other people also got infected with coronavirus

Elizabeth Schneider lives in Seattle and first began experiencing flu-like symptoms on February 25, three days after going to a party where at least five other people also got infected with coronavirus

She woke up 'feeling tired' and by midday she felt a headache coming on, along with a fever and body aches so she left work to go home. Elizabeth Schneider (pictured outside her house in Seattle) thought she 'definitely' did not have the virus. She took over-the-counter medicines to recover

She woke up 'feeling tired' and by midday she felt a headache coming on, along with a fever and body aches so she left work to go home. Elizabeth Schneider (pictured outside her house in Seattle) thought she 'definitely' did not have the virus. She took over-the-counter medicines to recover

She woke up ‘feeling tired’ and by midday she felt a headache coming on, along with a fever and body aches so she left work to go home. Elizabeth Schneider (pictured outside her house in Seattle) thought she ‘definitely’ did not have the virus. She took over-the-counter medicines to recover

A map shows the latest number of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths across the US and how COVID-19 has increased since January

A map shows the latest number of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths across the US and how COVID-19 has increased since January

A map shows the latest number of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths across the US and how COVID-19 has increased since January

She decided to leave the office of the biotechnology company where she works as a marketing manager, and went home. 

After waking up from a nap, Schneider found she had a high temperature, which peaked at 103 degrees Fahrenheit that night (39.4 Celsius).

‘And at that point, I started to shiver uncontrollably, and I was getting the chills and getting tingling in my extremities, so that was a little concerning,’ she said.

She turned to over-the-counter flu medications to treat the symptoms and called a friend to be on standby in case she needed to be taken to an emergency room — but the fever began to recede in the coming days.

Schneider had been following news reports about the novel coronavirus. The first US case was detected in Washington in late January.

The state has since gone on to become the epicenter of the disease in the country, with more than 260 cases and at least two dozen deaths. Nationwide, there have been more than 1,100 cases and 30 deaths.

Because she didn’t have the most common symptoms like a cough or shortness of breath, ‘I thought, okay, well that’s definitely why I don’t have coronavirus,’ said Schneider.

After waking up from a nap, Schneider found she had a high temperature, which peaked at 103 degrees Fahrenheit that night (39.4 Celsius).  'And at that point, I started to shiver uncontrollably, and I was getting the chills and getting tingling in my extremities' she explained

After waking up from a nap, Schneider found she had a high temperature, which peaked at 103 degrees Fahrenheit that night (39.4 Celsius).  'And at that point, I started to shiver uncontrollably, and I was getting the chills and getting tingling in my extremities' she explained

After waking up from a nap, Schneider found she had a high temperature, which peaked at 103 degrees Fahrenheit that night (39.4 Celsius).  ‘And at that point, I started to shiver uncontrollably, and I was getting the chills and getting tingling in my extremities’ she explained

Because she didn't have the most common COVID-19 symptoms like a cough or shortness of breath. She turned to over-the-counter flu medications to treat the symptoms and called a friend to be on standby in case she needed to be taken to an emergency room

Because she didn't have the most common COVID-19 symptoms like a cough or shortness of breath. She turned to over-the-counter flu medications to treat the symptoms and called a friend to be on standby in case she needed to be taken to an emergency room

Because she didn’t have the most common COVID-19 symptoms like a cough or shortness of breath. She turned to over-the-counter flu medications to treat the symptoms and called a friend to be on standby in case she needed to be taken to an emergency room

She had gotten a flu shot but assumed her illness was a different strain. A visit to the doctor would only result in her being asked to go home, rest and drink plenty of fluids.

A few days later, however, she discovered through a friend’s Facebook post that several people from the party had all developed similar symptoms, and she began to get more suspicious.

Several of these people went to their doctors, where they were found to be negative for the flu, but they were not offered coronavirus tests because they too were not coughing or having breathing trouble.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CORONAVIRUS?

Like other coronaviruses, including those that cause the common cold and that triggered SARS, COVID-19 is a respiratory illness.  

  • The most common symptoms are: 
  • Fever 
  • Dry cough 
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Fatigue 

Although having a runny nose doesn’t rule out coronavirus, it doesn’t thus far appear to be a primary symptom. 

Most people only become mildly ill, but the infection can turn serious and even deadly, especially for those who are older or have underlying health conditions.  

In these cases, patients develop pneumonia, which can cause: 

  • Potentially with yellow, green or bloody mucus
  • Fever, sweating and shaking chills
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Rapid or shallow breathing 
  • Pain when breathing, especially when breathing deeply or coughing 
  • Low appetite, energy and fatigue 
  • Nausea and vomiting (more common in children) 
  • Confusion (more common in elderly people)
  • Some patients have also reported diarrhea and kidney failure has occassionally been a complication. 

Avoid people with these symtpoms. If you develop them, call your health care provider before going to the hospital or doctor, so they and you can prepare to minimize possivle exposure if they suspect you have coronavirus.  

 

Knowing that she would also likely be turned down for the test, she decided to enroll in a research program called the Seattle Flu Study, hoping it might provide an answer. The team behind the study sent her a nasal swab kit, which she mailed back and waited several more days.

‘I finally got a phone call from one of the research coordinators on Saturday (March 7), telling me that ‘You have tested positive for COVID-19,” she said.

‘I was a little bit pleasantly surprised, because I thought it was a little bit cool,’ Schneider admitted, laughing, though her mother cried when she told her.

‘Granted, I probably would not have felt that way if I was severely ill,’ she said. ‘But from a scientific curiosity perspective, I thought it was very interesting. And also the fact that I finally got confirmation that that’s what I had.’

By this time, her symptoms had already subsided, and she was told by local health authorities to remain at home for at least seven days after the onset of symptoms or 72 hours after they subsided.

It’s now been a week since she’s felt better. She has started going out for errands but is still avoiding large gatherings and continuing to work from home.

This week, US health authorities citing Chinese data said 80 percent of cases have been mild, while the remaining serious cases that required hospitalization affected mainly people over 60 and those with conditions like diabetes, heart disease or lung disease. 

By Thursday evening there has been 1,540 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 39 deaths in the US. 

She said she was sharing her story ‘to give people a little bit of hope’ through her own relatively mild experience with the infection, which she treated herself from home.

Schneider said she hoped her example, which will probably be typical of the high majority of cases, could comfort others. 

But, she added, ‘obviously, it’s not something to be completely nonchalant about, because there are a lot of people who are elderly or have underlying health conditions.

‘That means that we need to be extra vigilant about staying home, isolating ourselves from others.’

‘The message is don’t panic,’ said Schneider. ‘If you think that you have it, you probably do; you should probably get tested.’

‘If your symptoms aren’t life-threatening, simply stay at home, medicate with over-the-counter medicines, drink lots of water, get a lot of rest and check out the shows you want to binge-watch,’ she said.

VITAMINS AND MINERALS TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

According to Chinese data, one in five patients with COVID-19 may be ill enough to need medical intervention. For the rest wild symptoms, the best medication could be ibuprofen and paracetamol, as this controls fever and pain. 

In order to help rebuild the immune system post-virus, experts recommend antioxidants which can be obtained from a variety of foods, such as berries, garlic and onion. 

Vitamin Injections London founder Bianca Estelle has recommended cocktails of vitamins and minerals, intravenous (IV) or intramuscular (IM) injection, as an alternative to oral supplements which can be harmful to the stomach in high doses.

The UK-based clinic administers high doses (dependent on factors including age and health condition. The antiviral concoctions are also great for preventing free radical damage and reducing inflammation caused by viruses.  

According to Chinese data, one in five patients with COVID-19 may be ill enough to need medical intervention. File image

According to Chinese data, one in five patients with COVID-19 may be ill enough to need medical intervention. File image

According to Chinese data, one in five patients with COVID-19 may be ill enough to need medical intervention. File image

B VITAMINS 

B Complex vitamins are also help boost the immune system after a viral infection. 

‘Specifically B6,’ Estelle says. ‘It gives cells the energy they require to communicate effectively and function.’ B6 supports red blood cell production and reduces inflammation. It cannot be made by the body naturally.

VITAMIN C

Coronavirus victims have reported symptoms of fatigue, body aches, fever, coughing and sneezing. 

Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant that protects the body against the effects of harmful agents (internal and external) and can negatively affect metabolic processes, leading to tiredness and fatigue. 

Chinese studies have been treating some infected people with high doses of vitamin C due to its anti-viral properties. 

Since it has a very low toxicity level, there is no risk of damaging vital organs, as long as the correct dose is administered for an individual as recommended by a health expert. 

VITAMIN D

According to a WHO study on respiratory tract infections, 'Vitamin D deficiency may affect the immune system as vitamin D plays an immunomodulation role, enhancing innate immunity by up-regulating the expression and secretion of antimicrobial peptides, which boosts mucosal defenses'. Magnesium is also found in vegetables, milk and fish (pictured)

According to a WHO study on respiratory tract infections, 'Vitamin D deficiency may affect the immune system as vitamin D plays an immunomodulation role, enhancing innate immunity by up-regulating the expression and secretion of antimicrobial peptides, which boosts mucosal defenses'. Magnesium is also found in vegetables, milk and fish (pictured)

According to a WHO study on respiratory tract infections, ‘Vitamin D deficiency may affect the immune system as vitamin D plays an immunomodulation role, enhancing innate immunity by up-regulating the expression and secretion of antimicrobial peptides, which boosts mucosal defenses’. Magnesium is also found in vegetables, milk and fish (pictured)

According to a World Health Organization study on respiratory tract infections, ‘Vitamin D deficiency may affect the immune system as vitamin D plays an immunomodulation role, enhancing innate immunity by up-regulating the expression and secretion of antimicrobial peptides, which boosts mucosal defenses’. 

Airborne illnesses such as coronavirus can get into the system via mucous membranes; eyes, nose and mouth.

Estelle hails the antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of D3, otherwise known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’. Darker skin tones have more difficulty obtaining the benefits of vitamin D but slow-release adhesive skin patches provide 12 hours of continuous D3 supplementation, delivered directly into the bloodstream.

‘The Vitamin D Shot is a safe treatment,’ VitaminInjections.co.uk states. ‘Rarely, however, Vitamin D injections can lead to a number of side effects – the most common of which are stomach discomfort and nausea.’ 

Darker skin tones have more difficulty obtaining the benefits of vitamin D but slow-release adhesive skin patches provide 12 hours of continuous D3 supplementation

Darker skin tones have more difficulty obtaining the benefits of vitamin D but slow-release adhesive skin patches provide 12 hours of continuous D3 supplementation

Darker skin tones have more difficulty obtaining the benefits of vitamin D but slow-release adhesive skin patches provide 12 hours of continuous D3 supplementation

MAGNESIUM 

Magnesium helps reduce inflammation in tissues and regulates the immune system response. Notably it helps keep organs, bones and nerves healthy.

Found in vegetables, milk, fish, pulses, and grains, about 15 percent is absorbed via oral supplement and it’s absorbed at a much higher rate via IV.

ZINC 

Zinc helps flush out damaged cells and fight infection.  

According to VitaminInjections.co.uk, the trace mineral, stimulates the activities of nearly one hundred enzymes and is necessary for the healthy functioning of the body. Individuals lacking in this nutrient may be more susceptible to illness, meaning that an adequate amount of Zinc should ideally be present in the body’s cells.

Zinc is recommended for supplementing pre-existing deficiencies in order to enhance the body’s natural ability to defend itself against foreign invaders.

CDC: HOW TO SLOW THE CORONAVIRUS SPREAD

 

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