"Every pore on my body opened." This is what it feels like to have coronavirus. 


At one point during his coronavirus infection, Tiger Ye wondered if he was going to die.

Ye – a pseudonym – is a 21-year-old student in Wuhan, the Chinese city at the centre of the outbreak.

He told Time after realising he probably had the virus he was scared. He had felt weak over a couple of days, was unable to finish meals and had a raised temperature.

“Every single doctor was wearing protective clothes, something I’d never seen before,” he said.

Mamamia’s daily news podcast The Quicky speaks to Canberra woman Deborah Winkler, who was quarantined on the Diamond Princess for 14 days.

Ye said the first four days of the virus were brutal.

“I suffered from a high fever and pains that tortured every part of my body,” he told Time.

His cough was so intense, he worried about dying: “I thought I was knocking on hell’s door.”

Thankfully, after being treated with Kaletra, a combination drug used to treat HIV that showed success in combating coronavirus, and a course of another anti-viral drug, Ye came out the other end.

About 75,000 people have been infected with the virus, now known as COVID-19, worldwide, with more than 2,100 deaths. Only five deaths have occurred outside of China.

Those most at risk of death are elderly people and those with compromised immune systems.


A total of 634 cases were confirmed on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship, quarantined for two weeks in Japan.

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Japanese soldiers and emergency workers in protective clothing walk from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Image: Getty.

Among them are British couple David and Sally Abel.

"We both feel fine but have indeed tested positive for the virus," David wrote on Facebook on February 19.

They were to miss the British government's flight on Friday to evacuate 70 Brits who tested negative for coronavirus.

The following day the couple were taken to a Japanese hospital, with David's symptoms making him feel "a bit weird".


"Outside the hospital I came over a bit weird and nearly passed out. Every pore on my body opened and I was wheelchaired to our room," the 74-year-old said.

"Full health inspection and now we know what's going on.

"We both contracted a cold (unaware of) and it has not yet turned into pneumonia. (We do have coronavirus).

"Tomorrow the big tests commence: Chest X-rays, ECG, chest scan, urine and more."

David, a diabetic, is at a higher risk from the virus due to his age and compromised immune system.

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Sally and David Abel in a Japanese hospital. Images: Facebook.

With his parents in hospital, the couple's son Stephen posted a video to YouTube.

"The last conversation I had with him, he can't be sick because he's got nothing to bring up, but he was heaving. It wasn't nice, very upsetting for me and the family."

He said a doctor had informed his parents they had contracted a cold, which allowed them to pick up the virus too. It had not progressed to pneumonia, and after flu and pneumonia it would not progress further.

The couple will need three rounds of all-clears on tests before they are able to be released.

The virus does not always result in severe symptoms: For many, it is no more severe than a standard cold.

On Monday World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom said that based on Chinese medical data, four out of five patients in mainland China have only mild symptoms and are expected to recover.

Fourteen per cent of patients experience severe disease including pneumonia and shortness of breath, 5 per cent will have critical disease including respiratory failure, septic shock and multi-organ failure and 2 per cent are cases are fatal, Tedros explained.

Australia has extended its travel ban for arrivals from China until February 29.

Feature image: Facebook.