Woman’s strange coronavirus symptoms after getting sick on dream trip to UK

A woman has detailed her experience with coronavirus, including some strange symptoms she didn't expect.

Steph Paige, 35, is a Canadian citizen who has lived in Australia since 2017 and runs a popular travel podcast called 'Sh*t I've Learned Abroad'.

On March 8 she embarked on a dream work trip to London to see the city and stay with her 34-year-old friend and podcast co-host.

But just three days after landing she began to feel sick.

"My friend who I was staying with started feeling unwell the day after I arrived in London, so I think I got it off her as she takes public transport," she told news.com.au.

"The first couple of days of feeling sick was very weird and I had symptoms not on the virus checklist.

"I was having severe eye strain which was the first thing I noticed. It really hurt to do anything.

"The second thing I noticed was in the morning, I'd wake feeling like I had smashed my head. I had this strange physical impact pain on the side of my head. My friend, however, had different symptoms to me.

"As soon as she started to get the cough, we knew we weren't being paranoid so we stayed home immediately."

After two days of feeling unusual, Ms Paige and her friend began to experience the textbook symptoms of COVID-19: fever, a dry cough and a sore throat.

"We were both a write off," she said.

"I started getting full blown chills and hot flushes. I'd be sitting there sweating and my friend would be next to me shivering. That's when we were like 'this is not good'."

On Saturday evening Ms Paige flew back to Melbourne, and upon arrival she felt even worse.

"I planned on riding it out and not getting officially tested at the hospital," she said.

"But what made me go is that I started to get the chills and cold clammy skin, which is one of the top concerns of this virus."

She got the "very invasive" swab test done and on Wednesday morning was informed by the hospital that she'd tested positive for coronavirus.

It brings the number of confirmed cases in Victoria up to 466, an increase of 55 since the day before.

Ms Paige has stayed in complete self-isolation since returning from the UK and has been advised to do so for the next 10 days.

Live updates on COVID-19 cases near you

England: 4,792

  • London: 2,433
  • Midlands: 808
  • South East: 590
  • North West: 496
  • North East and Yorkshire: 446
  • East of England: 452
  • South West: 278

Scotland: 499

Wales: 418

Northern Ireland: 149

She's warning other people who are healthy and relatively young not to believe they're immune to COVID-19.

"I am grateful I am healthy enough that I will be fine. What's scary is that it comes and goes in waves. You wake up feeling better but a few hours later you'll start sweating and need to sit down.

"It's just a matter of getting through it, but it takes a lot out of you."

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been criticised for having a slow response to the coronavirus pandemic and for confusing communication around what Australians should and shouldn't be doing to slow transmission rates.

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Coronavirus POLL: Has Boris Johnson been given too much power with emergency bill? VOTE

The bill, which gives ministers increased powers, is being rushed through its parliamentary stages as the country struggles to get a grip of the coronavirus pandemic. Multiple sections of the bill are aimed at reducing pressure on different sectors during the epidemic. The bill wold give courts the ability to increase use of audio and video links.

And rules around detention under mental health laws would be relaxed.

The Government would also be given powers to restrict public events and shut down pubs.

As Mr Johnson rolled out sweeping measures to curb social contact, he relied on the goodwill of landlords to close pubs, restaurants and cafes.

The new bill will hand him stronger powers to force owners to shutter their premises.

If the UK Government and devolved ministers agree that a gathering or venue is likely to pose a risk to public health, action can be taken.

The owners may be ordered to close and failure to do so could result in a fine.

The measures contained in the 329-page bill were initially meant to last two years.

But Conservative and Labour MPs spoke up to challenge No10 on the lengthy timeframe, with some arguing the bill should be reviewed as often as each month.

Mr Johnson’s official spokesperson said: “We have heard the concerns about the need for periodic review of the powers in the bill.

“We have, therefore, this morning, tabled a government amendment to the bill to require the House of Commons to renew the legislation every 6 months.

“Should the Commons decline to renew the temporary provisions, the government will be required to bring forward regulations to ensure they expire.”

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Welsh Labour MP Chris Bryant was among the outspoken critics of the two-year timeframe.

Writing in PoliticsHome, Mr Bryant warned: “It’s a rule throughout history that governments – even good governments – are quick to take extra powers to themselves and slow to return them.”

He said he was “amazed” the Government had favoured such a long period for the powers to remain in place.

He said Downing Street’s “concession” that would see ministers update the House every two months “goes nowhere near far enough”.

He added: “The powers in this bill that confer an additional benefit to people could stand for two years without explicit renewal, but any measure that restricts liberty should be subject to a renewal clause so that at the very least Parliament has a moment to consider whether they are still needed.

“I would prefer that to be every thirty days, but I accept there may be an argument for an initial period of ninety days followed by regular renewals every thirty days.”

The Government has passed all stages of its emergency legislation through the House of Commons.

The bill is now being considered by the House of Lords.

It is expected to become law by Thursday at the latest.

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Forget politics. Majority of Republicans, Democrats now agree coronavirus is 'serious threat': Reuters/Ipsos poll

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Seven in 10 Americans now consider the coronavirus pandemic to be “a serious threat to me and my family,” according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll that shows how wide, bipartisan segments of the country feel their lives have been turned upside down by the health crisis.

The March 18-24 poll, released on Tuesday, found that 68% of U.S. adults agreed that the virus was a serious existential threat, up 14 percentage points from a similar poll that ran last week. This includes majorities of Democrats and Republicans, whites, minorities, young, old, urban, suburban and rural residents.

The findings reveal how the United States, which for years has been sharply divided politically over almost every major issue, has come together on at least one topic. Just last week, 63% of Democrats and 49% of Republicans said they considered the coronavirus to be a personal threat; now 76% of Democrats and 63% of Republicans feel the same way.

Americans continue to be divided over their trust in President Donald Trump and the federal government’s efforts to control the spread of coronavirus, however.

Fifty-three percent of Americans say they think the federal government is doing a good job responding to the outbreak, which is up 3 points from last week. Another 41% said they do not think the government is doing a good job.

Trump’s overall approval numbers did rise slightly to 44% over the past few weeks, but at 4% it was a modest rise for a president confronting a national crisis. Former President George W. Bush’s approval rating shot up by 39 points to 90% in the days following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, according to Gallup polling service.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted after many Americans have seen their lives transformed almost overnight as health officials struggle to contain the virus. Nearly 50,000 people are known to have been infected with COVID-19 in the United States, and more than 600 people have died.

There are now cases in all 50 states, and the rapid spread of the illness, combined with the lack of testing kits and other protective equipment, has led many states and communities to shutter non-essential businesses, require residents to stay at home and ban large gatherings.

The online poll of 4,428 U.S. adults showed just how much people’s lives have changed over the last few weeks.

The poll found that 33% now think it is “very” or “somewhat” likely that they will be infected with the virus within the next year, up 5 points from last week.

More than half of the country – 53% – say the coronavirus has directly impacted their place of business, up 7 points from last week. And 40% believe that the virus will have a “long-term negative impact” on the economy.

Among those parents who have children at home, 52% are now keeping their kids out of school because of the coronavirus, up from 37% last week.

Sixty-seven percent of Americans say they are now washing their hands more frequently, which is up 7 points from last week, and 61% are practicing “social distancing” by avoiding physical contact with others, up 10 points from a week ago.

One out of three Americans say they are now avoiding public transportation, and one in three say they have canceled or changed their travel plans to avoid the virus. About 24% said they are now working from home, up 8 points from last week.

Still, a sizable minority of Americans appear to disbelieve warnings from public health officials about the seriousness of the outbreak.

Roughly one in five Americans strongly agreed that people are panicking unnecessarily, that the virus is mostly a problem for people who live in urban areas, and that the crisis has been exaggerated by the media.

About one in 10 said they have not altered their daily routine in any way in response to the coronavirus.

When it comes to the economy, American opinion is sharply divided along party lines, with 66% of Republicans saying that it is still going in the right direction, and 68% saying they think the coronavirus will have only a short-term impact.

Among Democrats, 74% think the economy is on the wrong track and 57% believe the virus will have a long-term economic impact.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online, in English, throughout the United States. It has a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of about 2 percentage points.

Click here to see the full poll results: reut.rs/2JbXeVB and reut.rs/3aibesK

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Mainland China reports drop in new imported coronavirus cases, no local transmissions

BEIJING (Reuters) – Mainland China reported a drop in new confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday as imported infections fell and no locally transmitted infections were reported, including in central Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak in China.

The number of new cases totaled 47 on Tuesday, all of which were from travelers returning home, down from 78 a day earlier, the National Health Commission said.

New imported cases in Beijing, Guangdong and Fujian declined, though the daily tally of new imported infections rose to a record 19 cases in the financial hub of Shanghai.

New cases of infected international arrivals were also reported in Tianjin, Inner Mongolia, Jiangsu, Sichuan, Jilin, Zhejiang, Shandong and Shaanxi.

The total accumulated number of confirmed cases in mainland China stands at 81,218, with imported infections accounting for 474 cases.

The death toll from the outbreak in mainland China reached 3,281 as of the end of Tuesday, up by four from the previous day.

(This story corrects mainland China death toll in last paragraph.)

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Coronavirus: Social services scaled back in Vernon, B.C. amid COVID-19 pandemic

Normally, the Upper Room Mission would be feeding their clients inside but now have been forced to serve bagged lunches through their open doors to people outside.

Almost all of its services have been temporarily shut down as a homeless resource centre due to coronavirus concerns and financial issues.

“Financially, we are struggling with our boutique closed down because of the virus going around,” said Naomi Rouck, the Upper Room Mission’s general manager.

As of Friday, March 20, the Mission has had to temporarily close its doors.

All Upper Room Mission staff members have been laid-off.

Naomi Rouck told Global News on Tuesday that the Mission doesn’t receive government funding.

Instead, it has relied on donations and money made at its boutique and fundraising events.

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“Most of the stuff we do are events to raise money and we are not able to do that right now because everything is shut down,” said Rouck.

The Upper Room Mission used to provide daily meals and now it can now only provide two bagged lunches a week.

“We’re serving lunches on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.”

The Upper Room Mission isn’t the only social service feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are still providing our basic necessities,” said Stefan Reid, a Salvation Army spokesperson.  “We’re still doing our food hampers but by appointment only.”

The Salvation Army in Vernon has also reduced many of its services.

“No one is allowed in our building right now, it’s by appointment only,” said Reid.

Staff say donations are dwindling, but say they will still do their best to provide services for the needy.

“If people are hungry they can come, they can get food, we are still here to meet the needs of the community,” said Reid.

With civil measures expected to last weeks in the Okanagan, it’s yet to be seen how exactly that will continue to impact the vulnerable in Vernon.

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Health officials won’t confirm how B.C. dentist who attended conference with COVID-19 outbreak died

B.C.’s top health officials won’t confirm whether a North Vancouver dentist who attended a dental conference earlier this month died of the novel coronavirus.

The Pacific Dental Conference, March 5-7, saw an outbreak of COVID-19 — prompting health officials to ask attendees of the event to self-isolate.

Dr. Denis Vincent, a healthy man in his 60s who attended the conference, died over the weekend of suspected coronavirus complications, sources tell Global News.

People who knew Vincent tell Global News he died alone at home.

“He was as fit as a fiddle,” friend Stacey Nixon said.

“He was talking about having a great time with his sons skiing on some very difficult slopes in Whilster. He passed away on Sunday — so two weeks.”

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Okanagan medical clinics switch to phone and virtual appointment

Medical clinics in the Okanagan are adjusting to a new way of seeing patients.

The novel coronavirus pandemic has prompted doctors to limit face-to-face visits and provide care for most of their patients over the phone or through virtual visits.

“We are here for you and we can still provide you with care, we can still provide you with comprehensive care,” said Dr. Toye Oyelese, owner of Westside Medical in West Kelowna.

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Patients can engage with their family doctor through online video chats and telephone conversations to assess chronic and acute health issues, as well as review and discuss new and ongoing prescriptions.

Patients requiring medical attention are asked to contact their doctor’s office and will be asked to come in only if deemed necessary.

“The clinic (Westside Medical) is closed and would only be open when a physician has determined a patient needs to be seen in the clinic,” Oyelese said.

Clinics are taking drastic measures to keep both medical staff and patients safe. In many cases, clinics have patients wait in their cars to keep reception areas empty.

Westside Medical is now offering its virtual walk-in clinic to all residents, not just its own patients.

That’s because many residents don’t have a family doctor, and, even if they do, not all clinics are equipped to provide virtual care.

“We want to all patients to know, West Kelowna, Kelowna and area that we do have local physicians here who are ready and able to serve them,” Oyelese said.

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Mum’s agony as son, 5, whispered "am I going to die?" as he battled coronavirus

A mum has revealed the heart wrenching moment her hallucinating five-year-old whispered “mummy, am I going to die?” as he battled coronavirus in hospital.

Lauren Fulbrook, 30, took to Facebook to share the moving story of how little Alfie lay helplessly in a hospital bed as Covid-19 ravaged his tiny body.

The schoolboy was left with a 42C fever, hallucinations, and bouts of vomiting after contracting the deadly bug at home in in Worcestershire.

Mum-of-two Lauren begged parents to take social distancing seriously in the emotional Facebook post.

She wrote: "Coronavirus is NOT a joke.

"Please stop brushing it under the carpet and putting not only your own lives at risk but everyone else's just because you want to go to the pub, or to a restaurant or think you need 7 packs of 24 toilet rolls, as a Covid-19 positive household, I've seen the effects it has.

"I've had to watch my 5-year-old son go from having all the energy in the world to not moving, not eating, hardly drinking or urinating. His temperature wouldn't go below the 40s and at its highest was 42.3 which caused vomiting.

"I watched him hallucinating and crying from his headache, being taken to hospital by ambulance to be put in isolation pods and be swabbed for the virus and confirmed positive."

  • Coronavirus cases worldwide double in a week to 400k as pandemic accelerates

Lauren described it as the "worst experience of her life" when Alfie first started to show symptoms on Monday March 16.

Her post continued: "His blood sugar levels were only 3.7, his respiratory rate was 18-20 and his heart rate was 180, the sweat was pouring out of him but he was shivering, he was panting for breath and he had photophobia."

Lauren ended her post with a defiant message directed to those who are ignoring government advice to stay at home during the global crisis.

She pleaded: "So please, just stay in for a little while, so what if you can't do all your normal things, the sooner everybody does social distancing, the sooner it will be over.

"I am not posting this for attention or sympathy, as I could have done that the day he got sick, I just want people to stay safe. Please think of your health and others."

Laura's moving post has since been shared more than 51,000 times and has received more than 10,000 comments.

Her warning came as Britain’s COVID-19 death toll rose to 422, while 8,077 people were confirmed to have tested positive.

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Libya confirms first coronavirus case amid fear over readiness

MISRATA, Libya (Reuters) – Libya confirmed its first case of the new coronavirus on Tuesday, with years of violence leaving its healthcare system highly vulnerable.

The National Centre for Disease Control, which operates in areas controlled by both major sides in the Libyan conflict, gave no further details in its statement on the coronavirus case. However, doctors said the patient was in a hospital in Tripoli.

Both the internationally recognised government in Tripoli, in the west, and a rival administration ruling from Benghazi in the east have imposed lockdowns, stopped foreign travel and promised resources for the health service.

The eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) has been trying to capture Tripoli since last year. Despite a ceasefire call by the United Nations last week to allow all sides to focus on preparing for the pandemic, fighting has continued, with heavy shelling and clashes on Tuesday.

“This is a health system that was close to collapse before you get the coronavirus,” said Elizabeth Hoff, head of mission for the World Health Organisation in Libya.

Equipment for testing is limited, there is very little protective gear and there is a severe shortage of medical workers, particularly in rural areas, Hoff said.

“There is a national plan, but funding has not yet been allocated for implementation,” she said.

A blockade of oil ports by forces aligned with the LNA in eastern Libya has cut off most revenue to the Central Bank of Libya in Tripoli, which funds state institutions and the salaries of public workers across the country.

A doctor in a medical centre in Tripoli said she had not been paid since last year.

The parallel central bank in Benghazi, set up by the eastern administration, said on Tuesday it paid salaries to government workers in east Libyan areas for the first time this year, but a doctor said no money had arrived in his account.

Some medics in Benghazi had refused to work at a hospital over the lack of pay and adequate protective gear, a doctor there said, but the problem was later resolved.

In Misrata, a port city held by forces loyal to the internationally recognised government in Tripoli to its west, cleaning companies disinfected parks and public gardens.

Volunteers distributed face masks and gloves as people entered banks, where marks on the floor showed where to stand to ensure a safe distance from others waiting in line.

“If we sit down and do nothing, waiting for the government, we won’t get any results,” said Taher Alzarooq, a 55-year-old volunteer.

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'Very close:' $2 trillion coronavirus aid deal takes shape in U.S. Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senior Democrats and Republicans in the divided U.S. Congress said on Tuesday they were close to a deal on a $2 trillion stimulus package to limit the coronavirus pandemic’s economic toll, but it was unclear when they would be ready to vote on a bill.

“We are very close,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, as the chamber opened its session on Tuesday morning.

The Republican-led chamber’s top Democrat, Chuck Schumer, said on the Senate floor that “of the few outstanding issues I don’t see any that can’t be overcome within the next few hours.”

The $2 trillion package includes a proposed $500 billion fund to help hard-hit industries and a comparable amount to send direct payments of up to $3,000 to millions of U.S. families, as well as $350 billion for small-business loans, $250 billion for expanded unemployment aid and at least $75 billion for hospitals.

It aims to stem the heavy economic impact of a pandemic that has killed more than 660 people in the United States and sickened more than 50,000, shuttered thousands of businesses, thrown millions out of work and led state governors to order about 100 million people – nearly a third of the nation’s population – to stay at home.

A few issues, such as assistance to states, remained unresolved as of early afternoon, according to a senior administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity. It was unclear when the Senate would be able to vote on the deal.

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in Congress, said the sides had agreed to more oversight provisions for the proposed $500 billion to help hard-hit industries, resolving a key sticking point.

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  • Factbox: What's in the nearly $2 trillion U.S. Senate coronavirus stimulus?

The latest version would increase unemployment benefits by up to $600 per week, ensuring that many who lose their jobs would not see a drop in income, according to a Democratic aide. Jobless benefits currently pay workers a fraction of their salaries.

The bill calls for an inspector general and a bipartisan congressional panel to monitor the industrial aid, sources said.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin would have to tell lawmakers about what companies were tapping the aid, according to the administration official. Companies would face restrictions on stock buybacks and executive pay.

Lawmakers were also nearing an agreement to include $32 billion in grants to passenger and cargo airlines, sources said. They would have to choose between accepting grants or loans but could not receive both.

Democrats have twice blocked attempts to advance the bill, saying it did not provide enough money for states and hospitals, lacked sufficient aid for unemployed Americans and did not include adequate supervision of a massive fund to aid big businesses.

Wall Street bounced from three-year lows on Tuesday on hopes the Senate might be close to ending its standoff.

President Donald Trump, seeking re-election on Nov. 3, has said he may try to restart the economy more quickly by easing a public-health clampdown that aims to slow the spread of the virus. State officials have warned that step could mean more deaths.

‘ALL OF THE NONSENSE’

Republicans, Democrats and top Trump aides have negotiated for days over the package, which would be the third and by far largest passed to address the crisis if it is backed by the Senate and the Democratic-led House and signed by the Republican president.

Pelosi said on MSNBC that the House could unanimously pass the legislation once it clears the Senate, but might also try to change it. This would lead to further delays and possibly require that chamber to return to Washington.

“We have some additions that we think would be very helpful to America’s workers,” she said.

The money at stake in the stimulus legislation amounts to more than what the U.S. government spends on national defense, scientific research, highway construction and other discretionary programs.

“Congress must approve the deal, without all of the nonsense, today. The longer it takes, the harder it will be to start up our economy,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

Pelosi has introduced her own $2.5 trillion counterproposal that also includes $4 billion to allow states to conduct the November presidential and congressional elections by mail. Multiple states postponed their presidential nominating primaries due to the pandemic.

Pelosi’s legislation would likely be irrelevant if a bipartisan deal is forged in the Senate.

Republicans normally hold a slim 53-47 majority in the Senate, meaning they need Democratic support to garner the 60 votes required to advance most legislation.

But the coronavirus has affected their ranks, giving Democrats more leverage. Republican Senator Rand Paul has tested positive for the coronavirus and four other Republicans are also unable to vote because they were exposed to Paul or others with the virus.

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