Young climate change activist Greta Thunberg told her followers that it was “extremely likely” she had the novel coronavirus as she urged the public to stay at home.
The 17-year-old Swede said in an Instagram post Tuesday that she began feeling symptoms after returning from a trip around central Europe.
“Around ten days ago I started feeling some symptoms,” she said. “I was feeling tired, had shivers, a sore throat and coughed.”
Thunberg said her father, who she traveled with to Brussels, also experienced similar symptoms but much more intense. She didn’t get tested for COVID-19, explaining that everyone in Sweden who had symptoms and weren’t in need of emergency medical care were told to stay home and isolate themselves.
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The last two weeks I’ve stayed inside. When I returned from my trip around Central Europe I isolated myself (in a borrowed apartment away from my mother and sister) since the number of cases of COVID-19 (in Germany for instance) were similar to Italy in the beginning. Around ten days ago I started feeling some symptoms, exactly the same time as my father - who traveled with me from Brussels. I was feeling tired, had shivers, a sore throat and coughed. My dad experienced the same symptoms, but much more intense and with a fever. In Sweden you can not test yourself for COVID-19 unless you’re in need of emergent medical treatment. Everyone feeling ill are told to stay at home and isolate themselves. I have therefore not been tested for COVID-19, but it’s extremely likely that I’ve had it, given the combined symptoms and circumstances. Now I’ve basically recovered, but - AND THIS IS THE BOTTOM LINE: I almost didn’t feel ill. My last cold was much worse than this! Had it not been for someone else having the virus simultainously I might not even have suspected anything. Then I would just have thought I was feeling unusually tired with a bit of a cough. And this it what makes it so much more dangerous. Many (especially young people) might not notice any symptoms at all, or very mild symptoms. Then they don’t know they have the virus and can pass it on to people in risk groups. We who don’t belong to a risk group have an enormous responsibility, our actions can be the difference between life and death for many others. Please keep that in mind, follow the advice from experts and your local authorities and #StayAtHome to slow the spread of the virus. And remember to always take care of each other and help those in need. #COVID #flattenthecurve
A post shared by Greta Thunberg (@gretathunberg) on Mar 24, 2020 at 8:22am PDT
She said she recovered from the illness with a message: Stay home. According to Thunberg, she experienced symptoms that were milder than her last cold and that she knew she had COVID-19 only because her father was simultaneously recovering from the same illness.
“And this is what makes it so much more dangerous,” she said. “We who don’t belong to a risk group have an enormous responsibility, our actions can be the difference between life and death for many others.”
She urges young people, even those who may not notice symptoms, to remain at home to avoid passing the virus unknowingly to at-risk groups.
Health experts have reiterated the importance of social distancing and staying at home to “flatten the curve,” or spreading out the number of coronavirus cases over a longer period to time in order to avoid a rapid spike of cases that could overwhelm the health care system.
While many European countries are moving closer to a near-lockdown, Sweden has decided to keep a number of businesses open including their popular ski resorts, according to Deutsche Welle.
Sweden has more than 2,300 confirmed coronavirus cases, with a total of 41 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins data. In comparison, the United States has more than 55,000 confirmed cases and 802 deaths.
Contributing: Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY.