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Image / Editorial

‘My bones are aching’: coronavirus patient opens up about his symptoms


by Grace McGettigan
05th Mar 2020
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Welshman Connor Reed was one of the first patients to be diagnosed with the coronavirus in Wuhan, China. Now that he has recovered, he has penned an article for the Daily Mail about what it felt like to have Covid-19


Connor Reed is one of more than 80,000 people to be diagnosed with the coronavirus. Originally from Wales, the 25-year-old has been living and working in Wuhan, China for about a year. It was here that he contracted Covid-19.

In an article written for the Daily Mail, Connor opened up about the various symptoms he experienced day-by-day, from when he first started feeling unwell to 72 days after.

Back in November, Connor wrote that he had developed what he thought was a cold. He was sneezing and his “eyes were bleary”, but he wasn’t too unwell for work. After attempting to shift the cold with a hot whiskey and honey, seven days later he still felt “dreadful”.

“This is no longer just a cold,” he said after a week. “I ache all over, my head is thumping, my eyes are burning, my throat is constricted. The cold has travelled down to my chest and I have a hacking cough… the symptoms hit me this afternoon like a train and, unless there’s an overnight miracle, I will not be going to work tomorrow.”

‘I feel like I’m suffocating’

On day 11, Connor thought he might finally be improving – but the following morning, everything intensified. “My breathing is laboured,” he wrote. “Just getting up and going to the bathroom leaves me panting and exhausted. 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 feel like I am suffocating. I have never been this ill in my life. 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.”

Realising he needed professional medical help, Connor took a taxi to Zhongnan University Hospital. Here he underwent six hours of tests before finally being diagnosed with pneumonia and prescribed antibiotics.

By day 18, with thanks to the medicine, Connor said his “lungs no longer sound like bundles of broken twigs”. His appetite returned somewhat, but his body still ached.

Then, 37 days after first showing symptoms, Connor learned that a new virus (now named Covid-19) was sweeping through Wuhan. It wasn’t until day 52 that he learned he too had been a victim of it. Now, Connor says he has fully recovered (though he still wears a mask when out and about in Wuhan).

The HSE’s advice on coronavirus

As of Thursday morning, March 5, nine people in Ireland (across both the Republic and the North) have been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

The HSE has said, “The risk of catching coronavirus in Ireland is still low to moderate” and while this may change, they insist, “most people may continue to go to work, school and other public places, as usual.”

As the virus is spread via sneeze or cough droplets, health officials are asking everyone to:

– Wash your hands properly and often.

– Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze.

– Put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands.

– Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

– Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

– Follow the travel advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs.

For more information or advice, visit hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus.

Photo: Connor Reed for the Daily Mail


Read more: ‘The flu is worse than the Coronavirus’ – debunking the biggest Coronavirus myths

Read more: How to talk to your children about Coronavirus

WATCH: Kildare man shares eerie video from the quarantined city of Wuhan, China