Wuhan man details what it feels like to have coronavirus

A Wuhan man who came down with the coronavirus in mid-January said he spent three agonizing weeks with worsening symptoms that began when he woke up one day feeling “sore all over.”

The coronavirus had yet to sweep China when Tiger Ye began feeling ill on Jan. 17, and he suspected nothing more than the common cold or flu, he told the Guardian.

After four days of cold medication and no improvement, he admitted himself to Tongji hospital — where he was greeted by a chaotic scene and “realized something bad was happening.”

“On arrival I saw the hospital already overwhelmed with patients. Seeing doctors in their hazmat suits in real life for the first time, something I’d only seen in documentaries about SARS,” he said.

His parents rushed him to a second hospital that had yet to be hit with a rush of patients where a CT scan showed “patchy shadows on the lower sides of both of my lungs.”

Doctors prescribed him medication and sent him to quarantine at home, where his family stocked up on food and Ye retreated to his room.

A week later, he began to develop a cough and fever, and was re-admitted to the hospital. Tests showed the infection had spread throughout his lungs, but he had yet to be diagnosed with coronavirus.

Ye said that from Jan. 21-26 was “the worst time.”

“I coughed so bad my stomach was hurting and my back ached,” he said, adding, “I thought I may have to say goodbye to this life forever.”

On Jan. 29, his older brother and grandmother — who had been delivering him food to his room — came down with symptoms. On the same day, doctors officially diagnosed Ye with the virus, and prescribed him five days of anti-HIV medication.

By Feb. 4, a test showed improvements in Ye’s lungs. His family also began to feel better. Three days later, doctors declared him coronavirus-free.

Ye said his one regret is not visiting a hospital earlier, rather than dismissing his symptoms as a cold.

“Now that I think of it, I might have missed the best time for treatment, failing to contain the virus with antiviral drugs in its early stages,” he said.

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