Dr. Kerry’s Owen O’Flynn says he can still feel the effects of the infection months after he was hospitalized last April.
He says that while the elderly are the most at risk of the disease, it can have a devastating impact on people of all ages. “There’s no real way of telling who is getting worse and who is going through without serious symptoms.”
“I am 23 years old, have maintained a high level of fitness and ended up in intensive care because of Covid-19,” he said at the briefing of the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) on Monday.
At the end of March, Dr. O’Flynn said he had noticed a loss of smell and taste but no other symptoms. According to the criteria at the time, he did not qualify for a test and recovered after a week.
However, on April 26th, after a day in the intensive care unit, he began to feel unwell, with symptoms such as stomach pain, temperature spikes, sweating, vomiting, and diarrhea. He tested negative “because I was not actively releasing a virus at that time”.
He was hospitalized on suspicion of gastroenteritis and tested negative a second time.
After his heart tracks showed signs of damage and his oxygen levels dropped, he was wiped again. “The results showed that I had a Covid 19 infection about four to six weeks earlier.”
Doctors briefed him about a then newly diagnosed inflammatory disease related to Kawasaki syndrome, he said.
“Later that evening, I deteriorated quickly. My oxygen levels dropped and within a minute I couldn’t finish a set. ”
He was admitted to the intensive care unit and suffered from acute respiratory and heart failure. “At that point I began to wonder if I would ever leave the intensive care unit, if I would die there.”
“Fortunately, everything was slowly beginning to dissolve. I was discharged from the intensive care unit to the ward and discharged home a week later.
Dr. O’Flynn said it took six weeks “to get back to normal,” and to date he has been reducing his fitness.
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