British virus patient Zero tells how she almost died when her...

British virus patient Zero tells how she almost died when her...
British virus patient Zero tells how she almost died when her...
The first coronavirus patient known to have contracted the disease in the UK has said she nearly died when her illness mystified doctors.

Joanne Rogers, 51, caught the flu in late January before the first cases in the UK were confirmed.

She was hospitalized two weeks later when authorities were still insisting that Covid-19 was restricted to a small number of people who had recently arrived from abroad.

But the virus was already spreading, and just over a month later, so many were being hospitalized on condition that the country was locked.

Cleaner Joanne is the earliest confirmed case of person to person transmission in the UK. Eight months later, she is still suffering from a severe form of long-term Covid.

Joanne, of Colchester, Essex, had been sick in bed for a fortnight when concerned partner Richard Shepherd called NHS 111 on February 15 for advice. An ambulance was brought to the hospital at Blue Lights Joanna.

It isolated nine people with Covid-19 – mostly Chinese students and a handful of people who came into contact with an infected person in a French ski resort – and the government hoped to avoid an outbreak in the UK.

Joanna told our sister newspaper the Daily Mirror, “I felt a little cheated when an ambulance came out for me because I just thought I had the flu.

“One of the last things I remembered was joking and joking with the doctor and saying, ‘I’m not going to die, am I? ‘He said,’ Not on my shift. ‘ ”

Within hours, Joanne was diagnosed with pneumonia and placed in an induced coma. It was the beginning of a stressful illness from which she still has not recovered.

Joanne had a tracheotomy, which involves inserting a tube into the windpipe just below the vocal cords.

Medics had no idea what caused such severe pneumonia and put Joanne on a ventilator to give her a chance to fight the disease.

However, the virus had triggered a large, potentially fatal overreaction of the body’s immune system.

Since then, a small number of drugs have been shown to help dampen this immune response in Covid-19 patients, but they worked blindly for the doctors.

Daughter Lauren, 20, said, “Richard went to see her every day. One day he came home and told me to sit down. He had been told it was 50/50. He started crying and said, “I don’t think your mother will make it.” It was devastating. ”

Joanne hasn’t been abroad recently and has no idea how she could have caught the virus.

She did not take a test during her 17-day stay in intensive care. It wasn’t until she finally received an antibody test in June that medics confirmed she had Covid-19.

Prof. Francois Balloux of University College London said: “I think this will be the earliest documented confirmed case in the UK. It is perfectly reasonable to believe that this was floating around in January.

“Back then, nobody could have predicted what a disaster this would be.

“I am absolutely convinced that there will have been some undiagnosed cases.

“It is estimated that Covid-19 has been introduced separately in the UK 1,400 times.

Therefore, unlike other countries, there really is no Patient Zero in the UK as so many places have had. This made it very difficult to control here. ”

Joanne struggles to bend down or walk long distances, relies on a room frame to get up and suffers from anxiety, extreme fatigue and persistent muscle pain.

Her sick pay ended in October and she was turned down for personal independence payments until Covid is recognized as a disability.

So she had to go back to work, but can only get by for two hours a day.

She said, “I can still pull myself up with the railing, but I have difficulty walking and I get very tired. I burst into tears in the slightest. ”

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