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'My body went through a beating’: Mother of 3 survives COVID-19

Chilah Harper said the symptoms were sudden

DETROIT – Chilah Harper makes a living as a nurse tech at a Veterans Affairs hospital.

The Detroit native was diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19) and is sharing her story.

“Physically, my body went through a beating,” Harper said.

She said the past few weeks have been absolute misery.

“It was a nightmare. It was sudden. I wasn’t expecting to be diagnosed with COVID-19. It was heart-wrenching for all my family,” Harper said.

For days, the mother of three fought for her life.

“I’m truly grateful to God to just still be alive,” Harper said.

Thanks to the doctors at Beaumont, and support from friends and family, she was able to make a speedy recovery.

“Physically I’m feeling about 65 percent well, but emotionally and spiritually I’m 100. I’m just glad to be alive," said Harper.

She has a message for others who aren’t taking the virus seriously: “This virus is very real. It will hit you with no warning. It hits everyone differently. Some people have symptoms. Some people don’t. Some people survive and some people don’t."

Harper’s children had to be placed in quarantine as a precaution.

Local 4 has been told that they are doing just fine.

MORE: What the CDC says you should do if you believe you have coronavirus (COVID-19)

How COVID-19 Spreads

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • Spread is possible before people show symptoms. People who are not showing symptoms can still be carrying the virus and can still pass it on to other people.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily the virus spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

Prevention & Treatment

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

Click here for more guidelines from the CDC.

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.

Read more about coronavirus here.


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