Colombian actress Danna Garcia has tested positive for coronavirus three times after recovering from tropical diseases Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya.
She said that every time she thought she had recovered from COVID-19, she was tested again and then discovered that she still had it.
The 43-year-old actress is best known for playing main roles in telenovelas in Colombia, Mexico and the US, including the internationally known ‘Hidden Passion’.
During an interview, the actress describes how she was hospitalised with Dengue, a mosquito-borne viral infection causing a severe flu-like illness for five days in January, and just six weeks after she recovered she was tested positive for coronavirus.
She says whilst pregnant she also got another tropical disease called Zika, a mosquito-borne flavivirus which causes fever, rash and conjunctivitis, among other symptoms.
The actress goes on to say she also recently recovered from Chikungunya, another virus spread by mosquito bites which causes fever and joint pain.
“I know, it sounds like a joke,” she said in the interview.
“I think all these illnesses attack your immune system and I just haven’t been able to recover because my immune system is still weak.”
Danna has a three-year-old son called Dante with Spanish journalist Ivan Gonzalez, who has stayed with family members since the actress was tested positive after a business trip in Spain where she was initially quarantined in a hotel.
The actress suffered complications and was rushed to hospital, and she told local media that she thought her death was inevitable and communicated with her family her last wishes.
“When I was tested positive the first time I spoke to my family to give them instructions as to what I wanted them to do with my son and who should take care of him, what my wishes were,” she said.
“I am again positive for coronavirus. I am lost for words. Thanks to all who have supported me.”
She spoke in an interview about the first month being the worst, during which she constantly had an accelerated heart rate, her jaw was numb and she couldn't feel her arm.
The actress rented a flat to self isolate away from her family and husband and despite never leaving the property, describes receiving nasty letters from neighbours who said that if anyone in the block got infected it would be her fault.
Colombian doctor Fernanda Hernandez spoke to local media about possible reasons the actress might not have overcome the virus.
“We are learning new things about this virus everyday and therefore we are unable to make definitive conclusions with the information we have available. With these kinds of cases which keep on testing positive – we think it is not a re-infection, rather a reactivation of the virus or a prolonged recuperation without symptoms,” Dr Hernandez said.
The doctor went on to say that a patient can feel recovered from an infection before the body has completely eliminated the virus.
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