Woman With Abnormal Coronavirus Symptoms Urges Others to Speak Up

Doctor said she got COIVD-19 diagnosis because she listened to her body

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One woman in Prince William County couldn't believe she tested positive for the coronavirus because she never showed any of the typical symptoms. Now she is urging others to listen to their gut and speak up if something doesn't feel right.

Mary McNamee, 62, had allergy-like symptoms at the end of March that sharply turned into gastrointestinal issues. She said she couldn't eat without feeling sick.

"I was literally breathing trying not to throw up," McNamee said.

She said her symptoms felt so different that she wanted to keep track of them. She started a journal to document what she was feeling.

In a teleconference with her physician's assistant, she learned her symptoms were consistent with COVID-19.

"It's actually not the first time we've seen GI symptoms with coronaviruses in general," said Dr. Joseph Jennings, a gastroenterologist at the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

He said GI symptoms were associated in some cases of SARS and MERS and now with COVID-19.


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McNamee was tested for COVID-19 on April 3 and found out her results were positive a few days later.

"I was frustrated, I was emotional. There were times I would cry and try to hold back from crying," said McNamee.

Dr. Jennings said Mary and her doctors caught this because she was listening to her body.

McNamee encourages everyone to speak up, if you know something feels off.

Thursday, she felt well enough to step outside for the first time since her quarantine.

"I'm just looking forward to the time now where I can hug those kids and hug my grandkids again," McNamee said.

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