Coronavirus symptoms: Victim goes into graphic detail about her COVID-19 ordeal

Coronavirus symptoms: Victim goes into graphic detail about her COVID-19 ordeal

Coronavirus UK death toll has climbed to 474 today, up by nine as new fatalities were confirmed in Wales and Scotland. A total of 9,817 are now confirmed as infected with Covid-19 in Britain – up from 9,529 by the end of yesterday. While the number of confirmed cases offers a grim preview of what is to come, it does provide invaluable insight into how the disease spreads and makes its presence known.


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People who have tested positive for the pathogen are proving instrumental to this effort by revealing their symptoms as they experience them.

A mum-of-two has made a forceful contribution to this area by revealing her symptoms in graphic detail.

Health visitor Jess Marchbank, 32, was first alerted to her symptoms when she developed a mild sore throat on the evening of Friday, March 20.

Speaking to Devon Live, Jess provided an almost forensic survey of her symptoms.

She said: “I had a slight sore throat Friday night but nothing big. Then as went to put kids to bed It just came on in an instant.

“I had the worst headache ever. I couldn’t see properly, felt like I’d been hit over the head. Like laser tattoo removal pain but in my head.

She continued: “Then it just got worse overnight. I was crying in agony as my joints felt like they were on fire. My chest was killing me, I had a high

temperature of 38.5 and a dry cough, but it wasn’t persistent.

“I couldn’t get out of bed if I’d tried. I knew it was coronavirus as I’d never felt anything like this pain before.”

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Abiding by the social distancing measures, Jess said she stayed in bed and slept all Saturday day and night and then slept Sunday as well.

She recounted how the symptoms took its toll on her body over those days: “The joint pain and headache eased off but the lethargy got worse.

Then I lost all taste and smell.

“Sunday night I had an episode where my breathing was impaired which shook me up. As a nurse I knew I was struggling to get oxygen in.”

On Monday Jess’ aches and headache lessened again but the cough and tight chest got worse.


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She says she developed cyanosis (a bluish cast to the skin), felt light-headed and dizzy as she was not getting enough oxygen.

Jess said: “I was all mottled and couldn’t catch a breath so we ended up calling 999 and being taken to A&E (at North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple).”

Fortunately, she was swiftly received medical treatment, which alleviated her symptoms.

She went on to praise NHS staff for being so attentive in spite of the immense pressure they are under.

What should I do if I experience mild symptoms?

The NHS says to not leave home if you or someone you live with has either:

  • A high temperature
  • A new, continuous cough

“To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home,” advises the health site.

If you are unsure as to what do, use the 111 online coronavirus service.

“Only call 111 if you cannot get help online,” explains the health site.

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