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Covid-19 patients urge public not to panic

Three people who have tested positive for Covid-19 in Gibraltar stressed people should not to be afraid of the virus, but should stay at home and protect the vulnerable.
The three patients felt symptoms including fever, dizziness, headaches, body aches nausea, lack of appetite, slight coughs and tightness of chest, but have all recovered.
Now their message to Gibraltarians worrying about the illness is not to panic.
John Paul Fa caught coronavirus after a trip to Austria and immediately self-isolated after finding out he had attended a restaurant where an outbreak occurred.
The 36-year old told the Chronicle he began to have a mild cough, fever, dizziness and a loss of taste and smell. He was unwell for a week.
He was tested after notifying the GHA of his fever and commended the health service for their work.
After an “uncomfortable” swab was taken from the back of his throat, his result returned positive.
“It was like any other flu,” Mr Fa said.
He stressed however that people should take this seriously and not spread it to those who are vulnerable, particularly those aged over 70.
“My main message is don’t be afraid of infection,” he said.
“The worry is transmitting the infection to a vulnerable age class.”
Another patient, who wished to remain anonymous, likely contracted the virus in Gibraltar and advised people to listen to medical professionals.
“While it may affect people differently, we took a lot of comfort in the advice of the medical team that it would only affect us like a flu, which it did,” the patient told the Chronicle.
“We’re very thankful that we’ve been able to manage it from home, simply taking Panadols to help with the aches and fever and not needing any medical attention.”
“From everything we had heard coming from the media, we were very worried.”
“However, having gone through it, we do feel that there was no reason to panic as we were in no real health risk.”
The patient added they will remain in isolation for another week as advised by medical staff.
“It is very important to stay home as soon as you experience symptoms,” said the patient.
She added: “The important thing is to keep the most vulnerable in our community safe as it may not be ‘just a flu’ for them.”
She began feeling symptoms as from Friday and had put it down to a migraine.
“It was on Saturday night my body began aching as though I’d been at the gym all day and I started getting a temperature,” she said.
“With all the awareness about Covid-19, we thought it would be best to contact 111 on Sunday morning as both my husband and I had been with a fever and aches.”
“Since Sunday I would say we’ve had the symptoms of a flu – tightness of the chest, slight coughing, fever, aches and headaches.”
“Thankfully after four days I can say we are back to feeling our usual selves, although the cough is still there.”
She added the testing process was very straight forward.
“We could not praise the infectious diseases team enough,” she said.
“From the moment I called 111 on Sunday they asked us what symptoms I had and my age, and then informed me that the entire household would need to self-isolate as the symptoms were in line with those of Covid-19.”
“An hour later the team were at my house and they took two swab tests; one from my nose and the other from the back of my throat.”
“What my family and I appreciated was that they reiterated that there was no need to panic, they were very helpful.”
Tyson Hernandez was the first person in Gibraltar to be test positive for Covid-19, and issued a statement on social media yesterday.
Mr Hernandez contracted coronavirus during a holiday in Italy when it was not even a country of concern.
“I went about my daily business the following day after my return without a single symptom in sight,” Mr Hernandez said
“It was not until two days after my return that symptoms began to arise.”
He had a headache, fever, dizziness, nausea, lack of appetite and loss of taste.
“It appeared to be a little weird for me given all of the above were symptoms I had previously
experienced with the influenza, but however had no mucus, cough or blocked nose, thus
experienced no respiratory issues whatsoever,” he said.
“Some of these symptoms persisted for about 10 days whilst other subsided after a day or two.”
He told the public that coronavirus will be like the flu for most people.
He encouraged people to social distance and self-isolate if any symptoms develop.
“If you have an underlying issue or are over 70, do not be stubborn,” he said.
“Stay home, we will still call you, face time you or even go see you from outside the safety of your door. We appreciate and respect our elderly far too much and want them to continue with us for many years to come.”
He also asked people not to panic or spread fear, and to avoid speculation.
“Respect the privacy of those persons who are self isolating or have tested positive to the virus,” Mr Hernandez said.
“We can be a very caring community, but I have personally witnessed and experienced how much
damage the same persons can do to those who are isolating or testing positive.”
“Remember at some point you will be the Covid-19 positive patient, and you will want some privacy to recover and return to normality. There is no need to spread messages or images of persons.”

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