'Everything was negative': Scary 'silent' coronavirus story behind photo

Nadine Carroll
·4-min read

A 31-year-old man has shared the long-lasting effects of coronavirus, even after testing negative for the infection more than once.

Frederick Joseph has multiple sclerosis and at first he brushed off his symptoms off as part of his existing condition.

“I began feeling fatigued to the point that I could barely stand, my ability to focus was lost, and I started having bad stiffness in my neck, migraines, and brain fog,” he wrote on Twitter on Friday (local time).

The New Yorker shared a photo of himself dressed in a hospital gown, on a bed, wearing a mask. Mr Joseph said in hospital he was tested for COVID-19 as well as undergoing a spinal tap to check for meningitis.

“Everything came back negative,” he wrote.

Frederick Joseph (pictured) said he has 'post-COVID syndrome'.
Frederick Joseph (pictured) said he has 'post-COVID syndrome'. Source: Twitter/Frederick Joseph

'Post-COVID syndrome'

Mr Joseph said doctors were baffled by his symptoms and decided to treat him with doxycycline, an antibiotic for meningitis which made him “extremely sick”.

When the treatment didn’t stop his symptoms, he underwent more tests and said he was told there was no way he currently had COVID-19 but he continued to research his condition.

“Luckily, I decided to do more research and read stories online about people whose tests were negative but they had it.”

“Turns out, at some point I did have COVID-19, but I was asymptomatic. What I've been suffering from is post-COVID syndrome, an entirely different set of health issues that you can still have after you've recovered,” he explained.

The famous author and philanthropist said although he was off medication he was “still suffering from the same symptoms, though they are becoming more manageable.”

Victorian Premiere Daniel Andrews said Saturday in a media conference that as research progresses, COVID-19 is being recognised as more of a chronic disease rather than a flu for many people.

"It presents in some, indeed I think the research is starting to point to the fact that it presents in many as more like a chronic condition than a cold that you just get over. Whether it be fatigue and other lasting symptoms, this is not something anyone wants to get," he said.

In the case of Mr Joseph, those chronic symptoms can catch patients totally by surprise if their “silent” case of COVID-19 was asymptomatic.

Queensland Health shared a video of Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young explaining that a negative test result doesn’t necessarily mean the battle is over.

“As we learn more about the virus, we're learning that for a reasonable number of people, they don't recover, they'll have long-term consequences from the disease,” she said.

Mr Joseph ended his Twitter posts with a caution to those not taking the virus seriously as related deaths in the United States surged passed 180,000.

“People have been reckless and entitled about this virus. I've been taking safety precautions since February, and still got it.

“Being a person who has other health ailments, I'm lucky to be alive.

“Everyone needs to be taking this serious. We don't know what we are dealing with.”

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