25yo Brit Who Survived Coronavirus With 'Hot Toddy' Says Case Was Worse Than Initial Reports Described

Chris Menahan
Mar. 06, 2020

Connor Reed, the 25-year-old British man who initial media reports said cured himself with a "hot toddy," now says it took him some 24 days to recover from the virus and it was the worst illness he's ever had.

His cat also fell under the weather and died.

From The Daily Mail, "What it's REALLY like to catch coronavirus: First British victim, 25, describes how 'worst disease he ever had' left him sweating, shivering, and struggling to breathe as his eyes burned and bones ached":
Day 1 ó Monday November 25: I have a cold. Iím sneezing and my eyes are a bit bleary. It isnít bad enough to keep me off work. I arrived in this country to teach English as a foreign language ó but now Iím a manager at a school in Wuhan, the city in central China where I have lived for the past seven months.

I speak Mandarin well, and the job is interesting. My cold shouldnít be very contagious, so I have no qualms about going to work. And I live alone, so Iím not likely to give it to anyone. There hasnít been anything in the news here about viruses. I have no cause for concern. Itís just a sniffle.


Day 7: I spoke too soon. I feel dreadful. This is no longer just a cold. I ache all over, my head is thumping, my eyes are burning, my throat is constricted. The cold has travelled down to my chest and I have a hacking cough.

This is flu, and itís going to take more than a mug of hot honey, with or without the magic whisky ingredient, to make me feel better.


Day 8: I wonít be in work today. Iíve warned them Iíll probably be off all week. Even my bones are aching. Itís hard to imagine Iím going to get over this soon.

Even getting out of bed hurts. I am propped up on pillows, watching TV and trying not to cough too much because it is painful.

Day 9: Even the kitten hanging around my apartment seems to be feeling under the weather. It isnít its usual lively self, and when I put down food it doesnít want to eat. I donít blame it Ė Iíve lost my appetite too.

Day 10: Iím still running a temperature. Iíve finished the quarter-bottle of whisky, and I donít feel well enough to go out and get any more. It doesnít matter: I donít think hot toddies were making much difference.

Day 11: Suddenly, Iím feeling better, physically at least. The flu has lifted. But the poor kitten has died. I donít know whether it had what Iíve got, or whether cats can even get human flu. I feel miserable.

Day 12: Iíve had a relapse. Just as I thought the flu was getting better, it has come back with a vengeance. My breathing is laboured. Just getting up and going to the bathroom leaves me panting and exhausted. Iím sweating, burning up, dizzy and shivering. The television is on but I canít make sense of it. This is a nightmare.

By the afternoon, I feel like I am suffocating. I have never been this ill in my life. I canít take more than sips of air and, when I breathe out, my lungs sound like a paper bag being crumpled up. This isnít right. I need to see a doctor. But if I call the emergency services, Iíll have to pay for the ambulance call-out myself. Thatís going to cost a fortune. Iím ill, but I donít think Iím dying ó am I?

Surely I can survive a taxi journey. I decide to go to Zhongnan University Hospital because there are plenty of foreign doctors there, studying. It isnít rational but, in my feverish state, I want to see a British doctor. My Mandarin is pretty good, so I have no language problem when I call the taxi. Itís a 20-minute ride. As soon as I get there, a doctor diagnoses pneumonia. So thatís why my lungs are making that noise. I am sent for a battery of tests lasting six hours.
He eschewed the antibiotics the doctors gave him as initial reports said and eventually got better on day 24. The hospital told him on day 52 that he had the Wuhan coronavirus.

Chinese scientists say they are two main strains of the coronavirus, one of which is much worse than the other.

From CNBC, "Chinese scientists identify two strains of the coronavirus, indicating itís already mutated at least once":
Researchers in China have found that two different types of the new coronavirus could be causing infections worldwide.

In a preliminary study published Tuesday, scientists at Peking Universityís School of Life Sciences and the Institut Pasteur of Shanghai found that a more aggressive type of the new coronavirus had accounted for roughly 70% of analyzed strains, while 30% had been linked to a less aggressive type.

The more aggressive type of virus was found to be prevalent in the early stages of the outbreak in Wuhan ó the Chinese city where COVID-19 was first detected late last year.

But the frequency of this type of virus has since decreased from early January.

The researchers said their results indicate the development of new variations of the spike in COVID-19 cases was ďlikely caused by mutations and natural selection besides recombination.Ē
I suspect Reed caught the worse strain (both strains have spread around the world).

South Korea's aggressive testing suggests among their population the mortality rate is around 0.65 percent, which is far lower than the 3.4 percent the seemingly incompetent WHO Director-General suggested (apparently he just divided the official number of deaths by the official number of confirmed infections).

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