Coronavirus can be lethal. Doctors and nurses have passed away after catching an infection with SARS-CoV-2. Now, another healthcare professional has been lost. What were her symptoms?
Julie Omar worked on Ward 14 at Alexandra Hospital, Redditch, Worcestershire.
She was a “dedicated and highly experienced trauma and orthopaedics nurse”.
Sadly, the 52-year-old has passed away following an infection with COVID-19.
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Adhering to government advice, Julie stayed at home to self-isolate for seven days.
It was during that time that her symptoms worsened and she became critically ill.
Julie died on Friday April 10, leaving her husband, Laith, without a wife, and her grown-up daughter without a mum.
Chief executive of the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS, Trust Matthew Hopkins, said to staff: “It is with great sorrow that I have to share with you the sad news that a much-loved member of our nursing team – Julie Omar – has died.
“Julie, who was just 52, had been self-isolating at home after developing symptoms of COVID-19, but sadly her condition deteriorated and she died at home [Friday] morning.”
Mr Hopkins continued: “I know that this news will have a profound impact on many of you, not least because it brings the tragic consequences of this outbreak even closer to home than it already was.”
Julie’s symptoms of COVID-19 haven’t been disclosed, but the NHS outline two common symptoms.
The NHS states symptoms of the disease include a fever – feeling “hot to touch on chest or back – and a new, continuous cough.
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A new, continuous cough is defined by the health authority as “coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours”.
The NHS 111 online service asks people if they’re experiencing either symptom, or shortness of breath.
If none of these symptoms are present, the NHS 111 online service says: “It is unlikely that you have coronavirus (COVID-19).”
Shortness of breath is a medical emergency, and people suffering from it are required to call 999 immediately.
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As of Saturday April 11, Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed that 19 NHS workers have passed away after contracting coronavirus.
Mr Hancock thanked NHS staff for their “continuing commitment and dedication” during the pandemic.
He addressed the tragic lose of lives on BBC Breakfast on Saturday morning.
“My heart goes out to their families, these are people who have put themselves on the front line,” he said.
The British Medical Association (BMA) said personal protective equipment (PPE) stocks were at “dangerously low levels” in some parts of the country.
Under fire for the lack of PPE in hospital settings, Mr Hancock focused his thoughts elsewhere.
He commented: “The work is going on to establish whether they caught coronavirus in the line of duty while at work or whether, like so many other people, caught it in the rest of their lives.
“It is obviously quite difficult to work that out. What matters is we pay tribute to their service.”
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