KILLINGWORTH — A Killingworth resident who tested positive for COVID-19 is currently quarantined at her home, along with her family.
The resident, who did not want her name used, said she started showing signs of the coronavirus on Saturday, March 14. They tested positive on Friday, March 20.
The 52-year-old woman said she wanted to get the word out that the symptoms they had were “atypical” – a low grade fever, slight cough and headache.
The person said she had direct contact with an infected person at work.
If she had not been directly exposed to an individual at work with a positive COVID-19 test, she said she believes medical professionals would not have tested her.
A message from the town of Killingworth listed the symptoms as “fever, dry cough and difficulty breathing.”
While Killingworth Health Director Paul Hutcheon would not speak directly about this case, he said that symptoms can vary.
“In talking with the state health department there have also been reports of people with mild symptoms and also reports of people that really aren’t recognizing that they have COVID-19,” he said.
“Maybe it’s a fever, but it’s slightly elevated, feeling tired, rundown, not necessarily a cough, not necessarily short of breath,” he added. “So, we know what the three primary symptoms are, but there’s a host of others that are being exhibited, in addition to diarrhea because it can impact your digestive system, not common, but it can happen.”
The local resident who spoke to the ShoreLine Times experienced this with the coronavirus.
“Had I not been exposed to someone that I knew tested positive, I would not have thought this was the virus,” she added.
For this individual, there was no dry cough or difficulty breathing.
“I haven’t had a cough one day,” she added. “Since Saturday I kind of have been showing symptoms where my body is particularly achy and I have a really bad headache.
“Saturday, I had a 99.0 temperature, which is higher than normal for me, but nothing within the range that they’re saying and I had a little bit of a cough that day, but it was just more of a tickle in my throat that I couldn’t get rid of,” they said.
They remember the message from their healthcare provider.
“The minute the doctor said, ‘You’re in a room, away from your family, for 14 days,’ it hit home and I started panicking,” she said.
“It’s one thing to be in your house and isolating, social distancing, but to hear your family eating dinner downstairs while you’re stuck in a room for the foreseeable future and then, plus not knowing if I had infected them, not knowing…” she said.
Nobody else in the family has shown symptoms, she said.
With her positive test results, the patient has many questions and concerns.
“I think every day it’s evolving and nobody really knows what to look for, what not to look for and the unknown – there’s just so much of an unknown,” she said. “Will I get worse? Right now, it’s OK, but will it get worse? Will it get better? Is this all that it is? The unknown is just a lot.”
Isolated from her family and counting the days of her isolation, this patient has a message.
“You need to stay in, really,” they said. “That’s the only way it’s going to stop.”