Greta Thunberg has coronavirus? Here’s what she says
The teen climate change activist says she had felt ill after she and her father, Swedish actor Svante Thunberg, returned from a trip around Europe.
Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg says it is "extremely likely" that she had the Covid-19 virus. Taking to Instagram, the teen climate change activist said she had felt ill after she and her father, Swedish actor Svante Thunberg, returned from a trip around Europe.
She said she had "shivers, sore throat and cough" and decided to self-isolate. She has now "basically recovered".
The last two weeks I’ve stayed inside. When I returned from my trip around Central Europe I isolated myself (in a borrowed apartment away from my mother and sister) since the number of cases of COVID-19 (in Germany for instance) were similar to Italy in the beginning. Around ten days ago I started feeling some symptoms, exactly the same time as my father - who traveled with me from Brussels. I was feeling tired, had shivers, a sore throat and coughed. My dad experienced the same symptoms, but much more intense and with a fever. In Sweden you can not test yourself for COVID-19 unless you’re in need of emergent medical treatment. Everyone feeling ill are told to stay at home and isolate themselves. I have therefore not been tested for COVID-19, but it’s extremely likely that I’ve had it, given the combined symptoms and circumstances. Now I’ve basically recovered, but - AND THIS IS THE BOTTOM LINE: I almost didn’t feel ill. My last cold was much worse than this! Had it not been for someone else having the virus simultainously I might not even have suspected anything. Then I would just have thought I was feeling unusually tired with a bit of a cough. And this it what makes it so much more dangerous. Many (especially young people) might not notice any symptoms at all, or very mild symptoms. Then they don’t know they have the virus and can pass it on to people in risk groups. We who don’t belong to a risk group have an enormous responsibility, our actions can be the difference between life and death for many others. Please keep that in mind, follow the advice from experts and your local authorities and #StayAtHome to slow the spread of the virus. And remember to always take care of each other and help those in need. #COVID #flattenthecurve
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In an interview with New Scientist, the 17-year-old said that she and her father had experienced some symptoms of Covid-19 after a recent train tour of Europe together. They were travelling before restrictions were imposed in several countries.
However, she said that neither of them have been tested for the virus, as Sweden is only testing people with the most severe symptoms and those in at-risk groups.
Thunberg said it would be surprising if it isn’t covid-19 (in her and her father’s case). “So of course I’m not 100 per cent sure I have got it. But it would have been very strange if it would have been something else, because it just fits very (well). Especially my father’s reaction, it’s exactly fitting with the symptoms.”
“I came home from central Europe and then I isolated myself from the beginning, because I thought I might as well, as I’ve been on trains and so I don’t want to put anyone else at risk,” she said. “But I started feeling some symptoms after a few days. At the same time, my father was feeling much more intense symptoms.”
Thunberg said she wants to tell people how easy it is to transmit the disease without knowing you have it. Researchers have found that many cases globally have been asymptomatic.
“The important thing is, I didn’t basically feel that I was ill. It could be that I was feeling unusually tired, I was coughing a bit,” she said. “That also is very dangerous because you don’t know you have it. If I wouldn’t have been for my father getting it at the same time and much more intense than me, I might not even have noticed it, that I was sick.”
She said it is a reminder of why it is important for people to follow the social-distancing measures imposed by governments. Thunberg called on young people to take the virus seriously, saying their actions could be "the difference between life and death for many others".