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Seattle resident who recovered from coronavirus describes the illness

Testing for the coronavirus continues to ramp up. (Getty Images)

When Seattle resident Elizabeth Schneider went to a house party three weekends ago — a week before anyone knew coronavirus was silently spreading among Puget Sound residents — she had no idea what she was bringing back with her.

She woke up groggy a few days later, but assumed a weekend of get-togethers with friends had worn her out. Halfway through her day at the office though, she started to feel a headache, body aches, fatigue, and a fever. Schneider finished up her day at home and took a post-work nap.

“When I woke up, my temperature was 101 degrees,” she said. “By the time I got ready for bed, it was 103 degrees.”

Schneider’s mind did not jump to coronavirus, however; at that point, Washingtonians only knew of the January Snohomish County case.

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“We were viewing it at a distance, and I think a lot of us really thought, ‘Oh, it’s not going to happen here at all,'” she said.

Additionally, Schneider did not suspect coronavirus because she did not have a cough or shortness of breath.

The next day, her temperature was back down to 101. She did not go to the doctor, but she did know it was time for a few sick days.

“My game plan was just to stay home, sleep a ton, drink lots of water, and take over-the-counter meds,” she said.

A few days later, Schneider noticed a post from a Facebook friend who had been at the party. The friend came down with the same symptoms on the same day as Schneider. Over a dozen friends who had been at the same get-together commented that they, too, had contracted similar issues.

Still, with respiratory symptoms largely absent from her friends’ cases, Schneider assumed it was “a nasty flu” rather than the world’s most famous virus.

As coronavirus began to be discovered in the area, Schneider’s friends went to the doctor, but were denied coronavirus tests.

But, through the Seattle Flu Study — which is run by the University of Washington, Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center, and Children’s Hospital — they were able to submit nasal swabs.

Nearly two weeks after she came down with the illness, Schneider finally found out that she had suffered from coronavirus. At that point, she had been in isolation since getting sick and was on the mend.

Now she is now going out in public again, but with few places open, she is mostly spending time at home.

“I’m feeling great — I have more or less recovered,” Schneider said.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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