One person had no symptoms at all, one felt ill for only 24 hours and one was severely sick for over a month. The experiences were drastically different, but the diagnosis was the same – coronavirus.
It all started in mid-March – and by the time it was over – three out of five people living in the same house were all diagnosed with the novel virus that has caused a global pandemic and left one family with the experience of having three completely different cases.
Bayou Gauche resident Jeanne Jacob and her husband Ronnie have had three roommates recently as their son Ryan, his wife Rachelle and their child have moved in with them during the completion of their new home being built.
Rachelle was the first family member to become ill. She experienced a mild fever, felt very fatigued and experienced a loss of taste and smell in mid-March, but her symptoms didn’t linger.
“In 24 hours, she was fine,” Jeanne said.
But when Ryan began running a high fever March 22, his experience was the opposite of his wife’s.
“It went on and never stopped,” Jeanne said. “It started getting really bad.”
The couple, each 30 years old, went to the Hahnville High coronavirus testing site on March 23 to get tested. They both tested positive – news that was told to them on March 31 when their results were ready.
Ryan was severely ill for three weeks, during which he lost almost 30 pounds. His symptoms included a severe cough and loss of taste and smell.
“The worst symptom of having the active virus was the fatigue and total lack of energy,” Ryan said.
He was eventually also diagnosed with pneumonia, and with that diagnosis was prescribed medication.
Ryan and Rachelle’s child was never tested for coronavirus per Ochsner’s guidelines of children not being tested without clear coronavirus symptoms, Jeanne said, but added the 2 year old did experience a terrible ear infection, sinus and cough.
Jeanne, 55, said both she and Ronnie never experienced any symptoms, but on a complete whim she got tested on April 16.
“I was driving down 90 and I saw there was no line, so I just turned in,” Jeanne said of the HHS testing site.
Five days later she was shocked when she was told she tested positive.
“I didn’t have one symptom,” she said, adding the Louisiana Department of Health workers calling in the positive test result to her couldn’t believe she was feeling fine.
Over a month since the onset of his symptoms, Ryan said he is just getting back to feeling like himself and being able to again enjoy his beloved outdoor activities of fishing and crabbing.
Jeanne is thankful the family avoided hospitalizations, and said no one living in the house has any pre-existing medical conditions that would make them more susceptible to becoming infected with the virus.
“It ranged from a positive test with nothing to a month of illness,” she said of her family’s unique experience with the novel virus.