Diary of a coronavirus survivor: Wuhan nurse claims she recovered from virus at home

PHOTO: Facebook/ChinaGlobalTVNetwork

One nurse in Wuhan says if she can conquer the coronavirus, anyone can.

And conquer it, she did. Jia Na, 24, a nurse at Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, reportedly beat the virus in 11 days — gaining over 1.7 million Weibo followers in the process.

Jia, who chose to fight the virus at home, documented her journey in a series of Weibo posts, the most popular of which garnered over 300,000 likes.

It all started on Jan 23, when her arms and legs began to feel weak.

"I thought that it was because I was wearing a protective suit. But my colleague said that we should do a computed tomography (CT) scan," she told China Global TV Network in Mandarin.

To her surprise, the CT scan showed lesions in her lungs that indicated she had contracted viral pneumonia.

PHOTO: Facebook/ChinaGlobalTVNetwork

The official diagnosis came the next day (Jan 24) when a nucleic acid test confirmed that she was infected with the coronavirus.

The diagnosis sent Jia into a spiral of self-doubt and fear.

"That night, I couldn't sleep. I kept thinking about how I could have gotten infected," she said. "I always believed in my immunity. I was really depressed and imagined myself dying. I was so scared."

But things began to look up after Jia consulted her doctor, who reassured her that her condition was not serious and, according to her, gave her the choice to recuperate at home instead of admission to the hospital.

For Jia, staying at home was a no-brainer.

"There was no one else at home and hospital beds were in shortage. I wanted to save the beds for those who needed it more," she explained.

Once she was safely isolated at home, it was time to battle the virus.

Her action plan consisted of the following steps:

EAT WELL

PHOTO: Facebook/ChinaGlobalTVNetwork

She boosted her immunity by getting proper nutrition, eating her meals on time and getting enough rest.

"You have to eat nutritious and healthy food," Jia shared. "I would boil chicken soup, fish soup, pork rib soup, millet porridge and Eight Treasure porridge."

DISINFECT YOUR SURROUNDINGS

PHOTO: Facebook/ChinaGlobalTVNetwork

Jia would wipe her tables with disinfectant and sanitise her blankets and clothes with 75 per cent alcohol daily to ensure that her house was virus-free.

"I took hot baths every night to kill the germs and viruses on my body. Wash your hands with soap frequently — this is very important," she added.

Besides sanitation, proper ventilation is also important. She opened her windows to let fresh air in from time to time.

MEDICATION

PHOTO: Weibo/Screengrab

Jia claimed that she only took several common influenza drugs, as well as traditional Chinese remedies such as Lianhua Qingwen capsules and Bupleurum pills.

She added though that this was simply what worked for her and encouraged others to check with their doctor before consuming any medication.

KEEP A POSITIVE MINDSET

Jia cautioned against "blind panic", focusing instead on "calming the heart and maintaining a rational and positive attitude".

She also stayed home to avoid infecting others, resorting to sending her Chinese New Year greetings to her family via phone calls and videos. 

And her efforts apparently paid off — a CT scan on Jan 28 showed that her lungs were back to normal, although tests still showed the presence of the coronavirus in her body.

PHOTO: Facebook/ChinaGlobalTVNetwork

Finally, she was given a clean bill of health on Feb 3 when her nucleic acid test came back negative.

On Sunday (Feb 9), Jia supposedly returned to combat the virus on the frontline with a renewed sense of optimism.

"My immune system is basically the same as that of everyone else. If I can go through this and get better, I believe that everyone's immune system can defeat this virus," she said.

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kimberlylim@asiaone.com