On Monday night Claire Byrne Live spoke to a patient with coronavirus for the first time in this country. In an exclusive interview, Claire spoke to the man from his hospital room about having Covid-19.
You can watch the full interview here:
Patient: I went abroad for a short trip and then I came back to Ireland where I live. I felt okay for a couple of days, then I started to have a little bit of fever and given that I was abroad I decided to self-isolate myself and call and explain the situation. So what they did was send a medical officer to my apartment and the medical officer took a swab of my throat and nose. After 24 hours, I was notified about the positivity of the test and an ambulance picked me up at my place and drove me to the hospital.
Claire Byrne: Can you tell me a little bit more about how you felt when those symptoms first happened?
Patient: The only symptoms I had was, basically, the fever. I didn't have any respiratory problem, any lung inflammation, any cough, any sneezing, so was just the fever, but again based on the fact I was abroad I preferred to self-isolate myself anyway because I was not sure if it was safe to go around. But I didn't have any severe symptoms, I actually feel great now. I had a fever for a couple of days and now from Friday, I don't have any more symptoms and so I am just here in the hospital being tested for the virus.
Claire Byrne: And when the medical officer came to your apartment what was that like? Was that person in full protective gear?
Patient: Yes. That person came to my apartment and he was fully, lets say, dressed up. The actual test took less than five minutes, he came into the apartment, he was dressed up, he came to my bedroom because I was in my bedroom, he tested and then he went away. And again I was notified in 24 hours.
Claire Byrne: Was that scary when you found out you had Covid-19?
Patient: I was a little bit worried of course but its a new virus and all this information is going around, but at the same time I was not scared because it is clear now of course it is something we have to fight. It might be dangerous but at the same time most of the people recover and that is the official information that we have. So based on the facts, and that I am quite young, I was not scared.
Claire Byrne: So you got the notification that you had Covid-19, how long did it take before you were taken to hospital?
Patient: A short time, less than an hour. So basically the HSE called me back and they notified me, they had a lot of questions about people I was in contact with, about my co-workers, and these kind of things just to understand if someone else could have got the virus from me. Then in less than an hour the ambulance was at my place and they picked me up and they drove me to the hospital very quickly.
Claire Byrne: And since then you have been in isolation?
Patient: Yes, I am currently in isolation in a private room and the nurses and medical officers are really, really nice with me. What is going on is I am being tested everyday for the virus and when I will be negative for twice in a row, so for two consecutive days it means I will be free of the virus and I can go back home.
Claire Byrne: Can you tell me a little bit about wast it is like to be in isolation in hospital? How much of the medical staff do you see or how much contact do you have?
Patient: There is not a lot of people going in and out of course, it's a new virus and they try to contain to keep at a minimum the amount of contact. The only thing I would say is that it is boring, I am here and I just have to read, watch some movies and that's the only things. Apart from that I am fine.
Claire Byrne: You mentioned that the HSE asked you who you had been in contact with, how detailed was that questioning? What do you remember about that?
Patient: They just asked me basically what did you do before calling us? I came back from the trip, and I went to work for one day because I felt okay and I didn't have any symptoms. They just asked me all the details of the people I might have been in contact with so they were able to contact those people and they take all the procedures to eventually block the spreading of the virus.
Claire Byrne: I know you have been in isolation as you say and you have been reading and watching what has been going on so based on your experience what do you think about what some people call the panic on social media about Covid-19?
Patient: I am not probably the right person to talk about that because I am not on any social media but what I can say and it's based on my experience is that I think it is what people should do is that not listen to people that are not, they don't know what they are talking about. What I mean is that follow the information that is on the websites of relevant authorities.
Claire Byrne: You will be there until you get two consecutive days of negative tests, do you have a time line on that? Has anyone said to you this is how long this might take to work through your system?
Patient: No, they didn't tell me exactly, but again the relevant websites, you can check for that. I think it depends on person to person, it depends on the symptoms you had, if they are more severe it may take longer. I am just waiting here and hope that it will happen soon.
For all the latest news watch Claire Byrne Live on Monday nights at 10.35pm