WA coronavirus survivor shares her story, advises others not to panic

Coronavirus survivor and Washington state resident Elizabeth Schneider thought she just had the flu until she tested positive for the virus.

In an interview on "Fox & Friends Weekend" with hosts Pete Hegseth, Jedidiah Bila, and Dr. Nicole Saphier, Schneider said that she experienced high fever, body aches, fatigue, and congestion, but she didn't have any respiratory symptoms.

"I didn't have a cough, any tightness in my chest, any shortness of breath," she explained. "So, I just thought I had contracted a nasty flu. It wasn't until a few days later after I started getting sick that I found out that there was a larger story at hand."

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Schneider had attended a house party with a group of friends just three days prior to falling ill.

"It turns out that a big group of them -- about a dozen by my count -- all got sick at the exact same time three days after the party with very similar symptoms," she recounted. "So, we started to get suspicious."

"At that time, several of my friends went to the doctor, they were told they had the flu, tested negative, and were sent home," Schneider recalled. "So, many of them were frustrated."

Schneider said she did not go to the doctor because she was recovering on her own. Then, they found out about a research study happening in Seattle called the "Seattle flu study." The researchers working on the study were testing communities for flu strains in the community prior to the deadly reach of the pandemic. They had just recently started testing for the coronavirus in response to the outbreak.

"So, a group of us who got sick from the party, we all submitted nasal swab sample and...a week ago today, I got a call from the flu study saying my sample had tested positive. And, as of yesterday, seven other people who were at the part that fell sick have also tested positive," she told the "Friends Weekend" hosts.

Schneider's advice for Americans worried about contracting the disease is multi-pronged.

She warned that there are many variations of symptoms under a COVID-19 infection and that a person who is infected might not check all of the boxes for classic symptoms.

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"So, please be aware and if you are not feeling well and you feel like you're getting a nasty cold or the flu, please go ahead and self-isolate yourself so that you don't infect vulnerable members in our community," Scheider advised.

She also said stocking up on food, drinking water, taking medicine, and resting is important.

"But, the other message that I would say is: please don't panic," she added. "I had it. I came out the other side and I have recovered."