ICU doctor with coronavirus fires warning to fit and healthy people over disease

An intensive care doctor has issued a warning to fit and healthy people to take coronavirus seriously, after it left him almost bed bound.

Intensive care consultant Dr David Hepburn at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, Wales, was floored by the killer virus despite being "fit and well" and had stay in bed for 18 hours a day.

The intensive care consultant, shared a heartfelt plea for people to obey the lockdown rules and prevent the highly contagious virus spreading.

He told WalesOnline : "I'd like to tell you that I got coronavirus from heroically looking after some of these patients but actually the reality is much more mundane.

"I think I probably caught this from contact with colleagues at work or possibly somebody out in the street before any of the coronavirus patients arrived on the intensive care unit.

"It started off very innocuously. I had a burning sensation in my nose, I lost my sense of taste, I never had a cough and then I've had a week of feeling absolutely terrible.

"Aching muscles, aching bones and unable to get out of bed – sleeping between 16 and 18 hours a day.

"I'm on the mend now thankfully, I hope but I can't emphasise to you how sick this can make you."

Dr Hepburn works at the Royal Gwent Hospital which the highest infection rate in Wales, with more than 200 confirmed cases.

He stressed many patients he has seen that end up in intensive care are not old and vulnerable, but young and active.

He said: "At the moment my team at the Intensive Care Unit are looking after a lot of patients who are critically unwell with coronavirus.

"Some of them are younger than I am and they are certainly not the frail, elderly people that maybe some of us have been led to believe we would be seeing.

"They are young, they are fit and they have young families."

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus has reached 478 in Wales, according to the latest figures by Public Health Wales (PHW).

Boris Johnson announced strict lockdown measures urging people to stay at home and only leave the house for basic food shopping, exercise once a day and essential travel to and from work.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to at least 182 countries, claiming more than 10,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more.

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