In the early hours of this morning (Monday), Bedford Hospital confirmed to the media that they were treating their first case of coronavirus (COVID-19).
As the news spread on social media, the patient – Rosalind Beattie – made a comment, saying that she was on the mend and ‘feeling very chipper’.
Speaking exclusively to the Bedford Independent, Rosalind said she suspected she’d picked up the virus while commuting to London.
“I had been working very long hours, 12 hour day plus three hours travelling, since Christmas, so initially put it [my symptoms] down to exhaustion,” said Rosalind.
“I had pneumonia four years ago so am always conscious of catching it again. As I was struggling to catch my breath I decided to call 111.
“They were good and a GP called me back. I was advised to attend an open ward for review as I presumed it was pneumonia.
“My temperature was 39.6 and I was immediately put into isolation in A&E and then in a side room in a ward.
“As pneumonia is the bigger of the two viruses I didn’t know I had coronavirus until the swabs came back.”
A spokesperson for Bedford Hospital confirmed that infection prevention procedures are in place throughout the site and contact tracing is adhered to in all cases.
“I had very mild cold symptoms, just a blocked nose. No cough. I have had pneumonia previously so unsure if this makes me more susceptible to it,” said Rosalind.
“I don’t know anyone else with it and my husband has no symptoms either. I travel into London each day so I presume I picked it up on the busy tube.
“I’m on the mend and feeling very chipper. Everyone at Bedford Hospital has been fantastic, I couldn’t have wished for a more professional and caring team.”
Director of Public Health at Bedford Borough Council, Muriel Scott, said, “We wish [the patient] all the best for a speedy recovery. We are continuing to work closely with partners in the health sector to take action to tackle the spread of the virus to Bedford Borough.
“Current information suggests that most cases appear to be mild with flu-like symptoms. We are asking the public to join us in following government guidance.
“If you have a new, continuous cough or a high temperature then stay at home for seven days. The latest information on symptoms is available on the NHS website https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
“Continue to take basic hygiene precautions to prevent the spread of the virus; sneeze or cough into a tissue and bin it immediately, wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or use an alcohol based hand gel and don’t touch your face unless you’ve just washed your hands.”
“Only call 111 if your symptoms get worse, you are unable to cope with your symptoms at home or if you cannot get help online.”