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Aussie nurse who caught Covid twice details differences between strains

An Australian nurse who is battling Covid for the second time has detailed how her presumed Omicron symptoms differ from the original virus strain.

Sarah Crocker, from Adelaide, told Yahoo News Australia she first caught Covid-19 on her flight from London — where she had been living for a year — to Australia in March 2020.

Because she arrived home before the government imposed hotel quarantine requirements, the 25-year-old isolated at her mum’s house for 17 days until she tested negative.

Sarah Crocker, from Adelaide, is pictured before being infected by Covid for the second time.
Sarah Crocker, from Adelaide, first caught Covid on a flight from London to Australia in March 2020. Source: Sarah Crocker

Last week, Ms Crocker fell ill with Covid again after one of her roommates tested positive.

She said her roommate returned a negative rapid test last Monday but developed symptoms on Tuesday.

“She did another one on Tuesday morning before I had to go to work and it was positive,” she said, adding that she alerted her work and immediately began isolating before later catching the virus — presumably the Omicron variant — herself.

Ms Crocker said her first bout with Covid in 2020 was marked by “a lot of breathlessness and real fatigue”.

“I didn’t even get out of bed to shower sometimes,” the nurse said.

The avid runner, who was training for a half marathon when she fell ill at the start of the pandemic, went on to develop long Covid.

“It took me a long time to get back to running — even going up the stairs and hills was really hard,” she said.

“It’s a lot better now, but I still get a day of fatigue. It used to happen every four or five weeks but now it’s every couple of months.”

Omicrom symptoms compared to earlier Covid

Ms Crocker said her symptoms from the first infection vary compared to her second.

She said she is still “quite tired” but is suffering more cold-like problems such as congestion, a sore throat and a cough.

Sarah Crocker holding a dog.
Last week, Ms Crocker fell ill with Covid again after one of her roommates tested positive. Source: Sarah Crocker

“There was no cough last time,” she said.

“I don’t know if Omicron is less aggressive or just that we have the vaccines now.

“I’m triple vaxxed and I’m so much better this time. The vaccine has done its job in terms of reducing serious illness.”

Ms Crocker, who received her booster shot in November, will remain in isolation with her two roommates until next week.

“We’re lucky because there are three of us to keep each other company,” she said, adding that they have been watching a lot of Netflix and “sleeping the days away”.

“I’m sure it could start to get a bit boring for the last few days but it could be a lot worse, we could be sicker and in worse living conditions — we’re very lucky.”

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