I had the Coronavirus and I didn’t even know | A UAE Patient’s Story

/ Lifestyle

You can have the coronavirus without even knowing and thinking that it’s just a normal cold, you can recover from it because of very mild symptoms. However, this does make you an asymptomatic carrier, which means that whilst you are unknowingly infected, you can infect many around you.

According to the Guardian, there is no way to know if people had mild cases of the novel coronavirus in the past – which now has mutated into a deadly respiratory tract infection. Dr. Sandro Galea, MD, a physician and dean of Boston University School of Public Health says, “Up to 80% of people who contract the virus have only weak symptoms — such as a low-grade fever or cough — and that they may have mistakenly attributed these to the common cold or some other minor ailment. It’s definitely possible to have it and not realize it.”

As per Metro UK’s statement, around 40% of the people don’t even know that they’ve got the coronavirus. “As many as 4 in 10 people might not show any symptoms at all,” they said. According to Business Insider, these people with no symptoms still pay a significant role in spreading the virus by infecting others.

A study among Japanese ex-pats showed that 31% of people who tested positive for COVID-19 had no symptoms.

In the UAE there are 7000+ cases and only 1 of the active 6,300 cases is in a critical condition. There have been 46 deaths reported up till now, the majority of which were elderly patients and individuals with pre-existing health conditions.

Yesterday, we interviewed a 29-year-old male patient, who wishes to stay anonymous. His body started defeating the virus before the test came positive, and when he knew he had it, the virus had already reached its end.

How did you find out that you had the virus?

“My sister fell ill. She puked constantly and after a week, she got a high temperature. When her result came positive and she was admitted, we all went to take the test. It wasn’t time-consuming at all since we got tested from the Abu Dhabi drive-thru testing, and it only required our Emirates card. My parents and my little brother came out negative but I came out positive. I had no symptoms and it had been two weeks since we weren’t in physical contact with my sister.”

Recommended read: If I Fast can I get the Coronavirus?

What happened after you found that you had the virus?

“Since I had no symptoms, I was told to self-isolate myself. My parents are old, and I wanted to stay far away from any risk of infecting them so I went to an empty flat of ours. I thought that at any moment I would start developing the symptoms and would have to get hospitalized. My vitals were constantly monitored and virtually, I was in contact with my doctor as well. I started eating healthy, just waiting for the virus to pounce, but nothing happened.”

Image of matchsticks depicting social distancing.
A visual metaphor of how social distancing can help put the virus to a halt.

How long did it take for you to test negative?

“When ten days passed in perfect health, I got tested again. I was still positive! At this point, I was almost imagining a cough or being tired but the doctors examined me and there were absolutely no complications. Then, after another seven days of no virus outcome, I got tested again and it came back negative. But I still chose to stay for a month in isolation.”

What did the experts say?

“They said that there could have been a possibility that I transmitted the virus on to my sister who was house-bound at all times, and I had to sometimes leave the house to shop for essentials. However, they weren’t sure. They questioned my diet, which wasn’t the healthiest, but I was told that I had good immunity which is how my body fought the virus. But I’m not the first case. There are hundreds, if not thousands like me who develop little or no symptoms and recover on their own. I am thankful that I had to face no issues.”

How is your sister?

“She is well now, but she is weak and her dry cough will take some time to go away. We make sure that she stays hydrated.”

Recommended read: 12 Coronavirus Myths Busted!

Did You Know: In a research published on March 25th in The Lancet, it is said that children are the least infected by the virus and from the ones infected, almost 60% had very mild symptoms.

However, even if you believe that you’re strong and healthy, the disease’s impact on you cannot be predicted so Hakeem strongly urges you to stay inside, wash your hands at all times and eat well.

I had the Coronavirus and I didn’t even know | A UAE Patient’s Story
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