Recovering from COVID-19: Springfield, Mo. woman shares her story

ROLLA, Mo. -- "It's the sickest I've ever been in my life. For sure."

Kate Elaine speaks about her diagnosis of COVID-19 via Facetime. Kate asked KY3/KSPR to not use her last name to protect some of her privacy.

Kate Elaine was at her home in Springfield when she started getting sick last week. For some privacy, she's asked KY3/KSPR News to not use her last name.

"I woke up one morning with a sore throat, and no sense of smell and no sense of taste. That was the first symptoms I had," Kate said.

Between 24 to 48 hours later, she started showing flu symptoms. She had 101-degree fever, had chills and aches, threw up a few times, and had blisters on her throat.

"So then I went to urgent care. They tested me for strep. It came back negative. They tested me for the flu. It came back negative," Kate said.

Urgent Care gave her Tamiflu and she went home to try and fight off the bug.

It got worse.

Her family lives in Rolla. They thought it would be best for Kate not to have to fight off her illness alone.

On Saturday, her mom picked her up in Springfield and they drove to the respiratory tent outside of Phelps Health.

There, she was tested again for strep and the flu. Both tests, again, were negative.

Then she was tested for COVID-19.

KY3/KSPR's Andrew Havranek: I understand that test is not necessarily a pleasant test, is it?

"No it's not. It feels like they touch your brain," Kate said.

The results took two days, but she finally got an answer. She tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

She has no idea how she got it. She hadn't traveled to any of the "hot spots" or major cities.

"It's pretty unnerving that you don't know where you caught it, but perhaps I caught it at work. Perhaps I caught it at the gas station weeks ago," Kate said.

The good news is Kate is on the mend. She's feeling a lot better today than she has in almost two weeks.

"I'm still very weak," Kate said. "I'm not sleeping great at night because of the coughing, and my throat's maybe a little sore."

She was prescribed an antibiotic for her throat. Other than that, since the first day she got sick, Kate has taken over-the-counter drugs and has been diffusing essential oils.

She says the Phelps-Maries County Health Department and Phelps Health - the hospital where she got tested - are checking in with her regularly.

Her family who didn't want her to be sick alone, are all now in self-quarantine.

"I don't want to get excited and think that I'm over it, when you just never know," Kate said.

Kate said she never had any shortness of breath or chest tightness.

She's 27-years-old and was a college athlete. She said she has led a healthy life, and despite several bouts with strep throat, has never had the flu.

She wants young adults and teens to to take this virus seriously, because it's not only affecting the older population.