Kirstine Adkin said she couldn’t taste raw garlic, ground coffee or cinnamon.
The 24-year-old NHS doctor then lost all sense of smell and taste when she fell ill with the killer virus.
At first, she started with headaches and back pain, but it got her to work.
But her condition deteriorated and she found it difficult to breathe.
The doctor at the South Western Ambulance Service is now warning people to be on the lookout for less obvious symptoms and to heed government advice to stay inside.
She said, “I am a 24-year-old girl working on the front line as an NHS paramedic.
“I tested positive for Covid-19 and wanted to share my experience to warn those with less” obvious “symptoms like I did at the start. “
She added, “I am fine now and I am very grateful to be able to continue working while so many people are facing real hardship during this crisis – I am one of the lucky ones right now. “
Kirstine of Poole, Dorset, has decided to share a journal covering her weeklong fight against the deadly virus which has so far claimed over 21,000 lives in the UK.
It started with headaches.
She wrote, “Day 1 – I developed severe headaches above both eyes, which got worse and worse. The worst headache I’ve ever had. “
Kirstine started to experience back pain.
“Day 2 – I woke up with a headache, but I put it under stress. Given the current situation at work, I did not think that a headache was very important.
“Around midday, I started to have really bad back pain. Again, working as a paramedic involves getting people down the stairs.
“It is not uncommon for me to have back pain. However, that night the pain in my back was so severe that I realized that it was probably not my normal pain. “
The pains got worse and spread around her body as she lost her sense of smell.
“Day 3 – I woke up with aches, always mostly in the back and head, I called sick, I still didn’t know if I was doing the right thing because I didn’t have a cough, no temperature.
“Was it just a backache and a headache from the stress we all endure?”
“Later in the day, everything got worse, I didn’t leave the bed and in the evening I had some chest pains and I felt a bit short of breath as I moved.
“I decided to disinfect my surfaces in my room, and it was then that I realized that I couldn’t smell anything. I started to feel everything around the house, but absolutely nothing! “
A mild cough started and Kirstine’s taste disappeared.
“Day 4 – The aches and pains started to improve. Just today, I developed a dry, mild cough. The cough was constant for an hour or two in the morning but was so wide that I might only have one episode of cough once “every 4 hours.
“I realized today that I also couldn’t taste even though I probably couldn’t yesterday but I didn’t eat anything to notice. “
Kirstine’s symptoms started to improve – but some vital senses remained unchanged.
“Day 5 – The aches have disappeared, but still feel very tired. The smell and the taste are still completely gone.
“Like, I can literally eat cinnamon, raw garlic, ground coffee and I can’t taste or smell it at all!” Yes, I tested almost everything I could find. “
After almost a week, the NHS paramedics were feeling much better.
“Day 6 – Feel my normal self but still no taste or smell, which is very upsetting when you are a big greedy person like me but I am grateful to have recovered with only mild symptoms, my heart goes out to all those seriously poorly. “
Kirstine – who has now returned to work on the front line – said symptoms manifested differently in each person and begged people to obey the lockout to protect NHS staff and key workers.
She added, “So no temperature for me, just a light, light cough. For me, the other symptoms of COVID – headache, muscle pain, fatigue, loss of smell and taste – were more common.
It just shows that this disease affects each of us differently.
“I know government advice is a persistent cough or temperature, but I had none, so don’t take the risk and stay home if you start developing the other symptoms too.
“My fingers crossed my taste and the smell is coming back soon, I have three Easter eggs sitting there waiting for me.
“Note: While I was still working last week, there were so many cars on the road. Blatant ignorance of the advice we have received and which is to our advantage.
“I’m going to go back to work next week, to help those in need. Stay home for me and for all of us, the key workers of the NHS and our families. “