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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