News / Covid-19

Hannes Visser
3 minute read
3 Apr 2020
10:08 am

‘I have no idea where I got the virus,’ says Oudtshoorn’s first confirmed Covid-19 patient

Hannes Visser

Charmaine Huyser said she started feeling bad about two weeks ago, but she had no cough or sore throat at all. 

Charmaine Huyser, was Oudtshoorn's first Covid-19 case and is currently in isolation at her home outside the village. Photo provided

Oudtshoorn’s first confirmed Covid-19 patient Charmaine Huyser said she had no idea where she contracted the virus.

“I have no idea where I got the virus, and corona was the last thing I thought of when I started feeling bad,” she told Oudtshoorn Courant.

Huyser decided on Monday morning to talk to the media after she became aware of the string of comments on Facebook of people insisting on knowing who the person was.

“I understand that people are living in fear of the virus and that is why my doctor and I talked this morning and decided to let people know there is no reason to panic.”

Huyser said she started feeling bad about two weeks ago, but she had no cough or sore throat at all.

“I developed a mild fever and my body was sore, but I attributed it to fatigue and tension.”

She and her family live on a farm 12km outside the town and when she told her family on Saturday morning that her body was very sore, they insisted she go to the doctor.

“My fever wasn’t very high, but my doctor sent me to Mediclinic to be tested, even though I didn’t have all the symptoms.”

She said she was in shock on Tuesday morning when her doctor told her she had tested positive for Covid-19.

“It was a shock to me because, like most people, I thought it was a virus that I wouldn’t get.

“I want people to know that I work from home out of town and that everyone I’ve been in contact with has already been contacted by the health department. They call my family every day to make sure none of them show any symptoms.”

Huyser said she currently lived in a separate part of the house with her own bathroom and wore a mask and gloves when she goes outside.

“My family and family members in the house are in their own part and my meals are put in a paper board in front of my door. It’s quite strange to be with your family but not have contact with them. My family supports me a lot and I am eternally grateful. ”

The family is in self-isolation and does not go to town at all.

“I’m turning 50 on Monday and it’s probably going to be the strangest birthday of my life,” she joked.

Asked if she was seriously ill, she said she was already feeling much better than last Saturday.

“I think I am fortunate to have the disease in a very mild degree, but I must also say that I have always been living a healthy life and taking vitamins regularly.”

Her message to residents is: “Please do not live in fear, this is a virus that can strike anyone, but it is not the end. My advice is if you just consult one of the symptoms right away your doctor should not wait too long.”

She added it was important that people support each other.

“I was quite shocked at the comments some people make, but I understand that it arises out of fear.”

Although Huyser has given all the names of people she has been in contact with as far as possible to the health department, she says anyone who may have been in contact with her on an occasional basis over the past few weeks is taking precautionary measures.

“Everyone in the country is still restricted for the next 14 days anyway, so if anyone thinks they were in contact with me, stay home instead.”

Meanwhile, Dr Wessel Vermeulen, well-known GP of Oudtshoorn, announced on his practice’s Facebook page yesterday that he was putting himself in self-isolation as he was in contact with a patient who was also tested positive for Covid-19. It was not possible to confirm whether the person was from Oudtshoorn.

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