Coronavirus patient Carl Goldman, one of 11 American evacuees from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship who tested positive for the virus, told “Fox & Friends First” that he experienced a fever spike and had a “lingering dry cough.”
Speaking via skype on Tuesday from the quarantine unit at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha Goldman, 67, said he was transferred there from a biocontainment facility.
“I had a precondition called Guillain-Barré syndrome and I think that’s why they put me in the biocontainment to make sure that I was stable and that the virus did not go into my lungs and chest, which seems to be the killer in this,” he said, adding that the overwhelming majority of people who contract the novel coronavirus “are ending up with fairly mild cases, just like I am.”
“Other than the spike in fever and that I had a lingering dry cough, I was fine,” he continued. “It was not like a regular cold so there was no sore throat, no stuffy nose, no sneezing, no body aches with a high temperature and other than that dry cough I would have been fine after about ten hours after my fever broke.”
Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a rare sickness of the nervous system in which a person's own immune system damages the nerve cells causing muscle weakness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Goldman went on to note that he realizes, especially given he has a preexisting condition, that the situation could have been a lot worse, especially because he said he learned that at least seven people who were aboard the Diamond Princess have died from the virus.
Goldman added that he is now “feeling great” and that if he wasn’t contagious, which he still is, he would have been back at work. Passengers and crew aboard the Diamond Princess were subjected to a 14-day quarantine while docked in Yokohama, a port city near Tokyo.
Goldman and his wife enjoyed 15 days on the cruise but on the 16th day, a passenger in Hong Kong came down with the virus after leaving the ship. He described flying back to the U.S. on two 747 cargo planes.
“When we sat down to take off I dozed off, it was the middle of the night, [I] woke up two hours later with a very heavy fever. It was over 103,” he continued. “There was a doctor onboard the plane. He put us in a quarantine area and we flew on to Travis Air Force base.”
He went on to say that when the plane arrived, all the passengers were unloaded “except for three of us and our three spouses.” He said they were then flown to Omaha where he was "put into a biocontainment unit for ten days.”
Goldman said his time being quarantined in Nebraska has been “like a scene out of the movie The Andromeda Strain.”
“Everyone entering the room, had hazmat suits on, double pane glass, two TV monitors, two TV cameras watching me at all times and then I would talk back to a central command post via two-way video, nurses came in about every four hours to attend to me, I was hooked up with monitors and luckily after ten days in there, I did get to spend my 67th birthday in there, in quarantine, so that’s a unique story,” Goldman said.
He added that after 10 days he was moved to a lower-level quarantine area which is also on the Nebraska medicine campus.
Fox News’ Yael Halon and The Associated Press contributed to this report.