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Dublin: 14 °C Tuesday 7 July, 2020
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Irish coronavirus patient describes how it feels to get the illness and what happens when you tell the HSE

The man recently returned to Ireland after going on a short trip.

A HSE team at Dublin Airport.
A HSE team at Dublin Airport.
Image: Sam Boal via RollingNews.ie

AN IRISHMAN WHO contracted Covid-19 while abroad has described how it feels to be infected with the virus and how the HSE dealt with his case. 

In an interview broadcast on Claire Byrne Live this evening, the man described how he began to develop a fever when he came home from a trip away. He decided to take precautions and self-isolated. He then contacted the HSE. 

He explained: “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.”

He said that the only symptom he had was a fever and that he didn’t have any cough. 

“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,” he added. 

In a briefing earlier today, it emerged that three more people were diagnosed with the disease. This means a total of 24 people have it in this State while another 12 have been confirmed to have Covid-19 in the North. 

The test

The patient, whose identity was kept anonymous, explained precisely what happens when you contact the HSE, tell them you have symptoms and that you had recently returned from an affected area. The patient described how the medical professional arrived to his home in full protective gear and that the test itself lasted just a few minutes.

“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,” the patient added. 

Asked if he was worried when he heard he had contracted the disease, the patient said that because the virus is so new, he was “a little worried”. 

“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”, he told RTÉ.      

Contact tracing

When it emerged that he was positive for Covid-19, the patient explained that the HSE called him back and notified him. They then asked him questions about people he was in contact with and about his co-workers so they could check if someone else could have received the virus from him.

He added that an ambulance was at his home within an hour and he was then taken to hospital. 

The patient has been in isolation ever since and is in his own private room. He said that health professionals have been “really nice” with him. The man said he is being tested every day for the illness. He said he can go home when his tests come back negative two days in a row.

Despite what he described as the great treatment he is receiving, the patient said he is still trying to get over the boredom and is trying to occupy his mind. 

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.

Asked if he knew how long the virus will last in his system, he said he was not told. 

He added: “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.”

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