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EXCLUSIVE: COVID-19 patients share symptom update

A week and a half after first experiencing coronavirus symptoms, Madeleine Biache and Zoe Grant says they're weary, but in high spirits.

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, MAINE, Maine — On Saturday, March 14, Zoe Grant and Madeleine Biache went to Maine Medical Center in Portland to be tested for coronavirus

They had been experiencing symptoms since the Tuesday prior and were self-quarantining. They hadn't anticipated seeking medical attention, but their conditions drastically worsened on Saturday. 

"I woke up that morning and I felt like I’d been hit in the chest with a soccer ball," said Grant. 

"It’s a lot of pressure in the chest and it feels like no matter how hard I try to breathe I can’t get a full breath of air," said Biache. 

NEWS CENTER Maine's Hannah Dineen exclusively interviewed the friends on Sunday, March 15

RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: COVID-19 patients speak with NEWS CENTER Maine

A week later, she followed up with a phone call to see how the two were doing. 

"We’ve gotten super tired," said Grant. "It’s just been a lot of recuperation."

"It was a quick decline and now it’s going to be a slow climb back up," said Biache.

Their symptoms were much of the same.

"I’d say some chest pain still," said Grant.

"Yeah, a lot of chest pain," said Biache. "A lot of fatigue and cough. You know, just the weariness. Being sick for so long runs you down, so we’re just really tired...No matter how much I’ve slept, I could still use a couple more hours."

The pair has been taking NyQuil, painkillers and using inhalers to cope with the virus symptoms. However, they say what they can do to treat it is limited.

"With this, there is not really anything that can be done," said Biache. "It is just a lot of rest, drinking a lot of fluid, monitoring your symptoms, keeping track of your temperature."

Both young women have had the seasonal flu before and say it isn't comparable. 

"It’s not really comparable to the flu because it’s a totally different symptom panel, it’s all respiratory. There’s a headache and a fever and a cough, but there isn’t nausea. We’ve both been able to keep food down without a problem," said Biache. 

"The fatigue is kind of similar," said Grant. "It's kind of like the first couple of days after the flu is over when you’re just really really tired all the time. It’s just the feeling of being run down."

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The two young women say it has been frustrating and disheartening to see examples of young people not social distancing and taking proper precautions. 

"We think it’s selfish honestly," said Biache. "We’ve been seeing all the articles and stuff and we can’t say we’re particularly impressed."

"You might be right that you’re not going to get it," said Biache, "but you might pass it along to someone else who’s not as lucky."

"I also will say, yes, it’s very important not to pass it on," said Grant, "but even if you are young and healthy and athletic and all of those things it’s still not fun!"

At NEWS CENTER Maine, we're focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus

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