Man with coronavirus warns people of ‘delay’ symptom which may be Covid-19 sign

A man who survived coronavirus has opened up about the haunting reality of the disease in a bid to help others recognise the early warning signs.

Shiraz Maher, 38, began having symptoms two weeks ago after developing a mild fever which disappeared very quickly.

Maher has no underlying health conditions and initially believed the virus had come and gone – but days later his "lungs started packing up" and "chest got tight".

He said the cough which then developed was "dry and unlike anything" he had experienced before.

Describing the cough he developed, Maher said: "It was dry and unlike anything I've ever had before.

"It was much more extreme and pronounced than a dry cough you might have during a bout of the flu.

"It feels like there's something deeply lodged within your lungs, that they're violently trying to eject.

"Of course, there's nothing to actually eject. The resulting cough is dusty, dry and painful.

"Much more scary is that you're unsure of when you'll stop coughing. You have no control over it.

"There were times I was worried I'd start vomiting because the coughing was so severe."

The 38-year-old said the cough also led to severe headaches and when it began to east his lungs remained tight.

Shiraz said he struggled to breath for hours at a time and says the virus is "particularly cruel" as recovery isn't liner.

Friends of Shiraz who are doctors urged him to ring 999 because his blood pressure was dangerously high.

Unfortunately, the ambulance wasn't able to respond to his call and asked others only to call if it is an "absolute emergency."

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Shiraz also warned people to be prepared to take decisive action yourself as emergency services are struggling to cope with demand.

His cough quickly turned into "crazy abdominal pains and headaches" and friends of his with medical training offered advice to help heal him.

Thankfully, two weeks after his first symptoms, Shiraz says he finally feels like he is starting to beat it, but remains far from being 100%.

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He said: "Coronavirus appears to have a completely different trajectory in different people.

"I can't spot a pattern.

"Some are shaking it off relatively easily. Others are suffering very badly. The most difficult part of this is the extent to which it takes hold within your lungs.

"I've lost several days of my life to this illness. Many, many other people will lose their lives to it.

"This virus continues to spread everywhere and you – literally, you – can help stop it with the most basic of efforts. Wash your hands. Stay at home. Do it now."

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