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Houston woman believes she had coronavirus nearly a month before the first confirmed case

HOUSTON – An otherwise healthy Houston woman in her 30s who doctors said had pneumonia in February believes she actually had coronavirus. In fact, a COVID-19 antibody test she took came back positive Wednesday.

Layla Campbell and her husband, Drew, attended a Rockets game at the Toyota Center on January 31. Three days later, she began to experience flu-like symptoms but tested negative for the flu and positive for strep at local urgent care.

“Thirty minutes later, I was lying on the couch. I said, ‘My chest is killing me. I feel like somebody’s sitting on my chest,’” Campbell said. “I can’t breathe; something doesn’t feel right.”

The doctor diagnosed her with pneumonia this time and gave her cough medicine. The symptoms lasted for two weeks.

Layla said she has had pneumonia before but this illness was worst. She could barely walk.

“I struggled to walk even a couple of feet,” Campbell said. “I couldn’t breathe.”

Her husband Drew came down with flu-like symptoms too and tested negative for the flu.

Layla said she wasn’t surprised when her coronavirus antibody test came back positive.

“I’m just thankful that we took precautions,” she said. “I lysoled everything. I put a mask on. My parents have underlying health conditions that are serious.”

A man in Washington was the first person in the United States to test positive for coronavirus on January 21. While a man in Fort Bend County was the first person in Texas to test positive on March 4.

If her theory is right, Layla had contracted coronavirus in early February.

“It kinda changes the way you think about this whole thing,” Campbell said. “The whole time we were thinking this started in March.”


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