Patient mistook coronavirus for a hangover

ONE of Darwin's first coronavirus patients says his symptoms were so mild at first that he mistook them for a hangover after a boozy night out on holiday.

The man in his mid-30s, who did not wish to be named for privacy reasons, has told the NT News about his journey to recovery from COVID-19.

He tested positive for the virus on March 19 after returning home from a snowboarding holiday in Austria via Croatia.

"I went out one night during my holiday in Austria and woke up the next morning feeling a bit tired but I just thought it was a normal hangover," he said.

"But I kept feeling tired over the next few days while I was snow boarding and then my back started to hurt and I got a bit achy.

"I came home to Darwin after the ski-resort shut down and I tested positive."


He was kept in quarantine for 17 days at the Lorraine Brennan Centre before he fully recovered.

"It was nerve-racking at times, waiting for those test results to come back every day," he said.

He said the testing process involved health care workers gently inserting what looks like a long Q-tip as far as it'll go into his nose and twirling the swab to get a good sample.

Once removed, the swap is placed in a vial, which is then sent to a lab for testing.

"I got a negative on my fifth day in quarantine and was pretty confident I was going to get out, but the second test came back positive so I ended up staying," he said.

"But the staff were really good at looking after us in that centre. They gave us three meals a day, our bedsheets and floors were cleaned daily, the bins were taken out twice a day and they would regularly come to check on you. It wasn't too bad."

Originally published as Darwin patient mistook coronavirus for a hangover