Healthy 18 year old Iowa teen Dimitri Mitchell contracts coronavirus after initially denied tests cause he didn’t meet public health guide criteria.
A healthy 18 year old Iowa teen has told of his shock of contracting novel coronavirus despite medics initially denying the youth tests for the deadly bug cause he didn’t meet criteria, which left him, ‘feeling as he’d been hit by a truck.’
Dimitri Mitchell of Tiffin, started showing symptoms of COVID-19 on March 13, when he developed a high fever of 105 degrees and a cough.
‘I was bedridden all day and I felt totally drained … my eyes wouldn’t stop watering, I had the worst headache I’ve ever experienced and my cough was just getting worse and worse,’ Mitchell told Good Morning America.
‘It’s the most sick I’ve ever been and I told my mom I felt like I was hit by a truck.’
Mitchell added: ‘Each time you would cough, it hurts, and you have that burning sensation.’
Appearing on the show, Dimitri sought to advise seemingly young and healthy individuals not to underestimate the deadly bug and their susceptibility to being infected. The warning comes despite the bug continuing to predominantly affect the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.
As of Tuesday morning, there were 946 reported cases of coronavirus and 25 deaths.
Sent home cause 18 year old teen didn’t meet criteria to qualify for coronavirus testing:
Dimitri’s mother Irena Yoder took him to the emergency room where she works as a lab technician, where the 18 year old was tested for strep, the flu and pneumonia.
All of the results returned negative. He was also given a steroid shot as treatment.
Yoder explained that due to his age, Dimitri didn’t qualify to have a coronavirus test, according to Iowa Department of Public Health and State Hygienic Lab criteria.
‘I was really concerned that it was coronavirus,’ Yoder told GMA. ‘He [wasn’t] meeting criteria to have this test done on him. They said, “He’s under 60 years old and he will find his body is strong and he will fight this.” So, they sent us home.’
Yoder stayed home with her son – a student at community college – but that night his symptoms worsened.
She said she had an inkling he was sick with coronavirus.
‘He was sweating with a fever, his eyes were so swollen,’ Yoder said. ‘He was breathing hard. He could barely walk. He could barely speak. He was like, “Mom what do I have?”‘
‘I was trying to cheer him up saying, “It’s going to be OK.” Deep inside, I was so worried.’
Added the mother, ‘I would go afterwards and cry in my bedroom or just listen behind his door and in our hallway, how well he’s doing, but I would never show to him I was so worried. I wanted to keep myself positive.’
18 year old finally secures testing:
The mother took him back to the ER the following day on March 16.
‘The doctor told us because I didn’t have any problems breathing, the reason they were sending us home was because they didn’t want me to potentially spread the virus to other people,’ Mitchell explained to KCRG.
He was only tested after a recommendation from the Iowa Department of Health’s 211 hotline and the results for COVID-19 were positive.
Although initial advice positioned the virus as something to particularly watch out for in older people, more cases around the world have shown young people getting seriously ill and dying.
About 29 percent of cases are in people aged 20 to 44, according to the CDC with 11.3% of Covid-19 cases among people aged 25 to 29, followed by 9.5% in those aged 60 to 65. Those in Mitchell’s age group, people aged 19 and under, represent five percent of cases.
‘Every 10 to 15 mins I was checking on him because he was breathing so hard and I was so scared,’ Yoder said.
‘I never thought my son would get it. He was perfectly healthy, playing sports. So what we’ll learn [is] it can hit any age of people. It doesn’t ask permission.’
‘Don’t treat it like you’re immune and you can’t get affected.’
At the time of his GMA interview, Mitchell had been without a fever for a week and was recovering.
He left a warning for other people his age to take the coronavirus seriously and stick to social distancing guidelines.
The part-time grocery store clerk believes he may have contracted it at work, although his mother said he was extra careful and constantly washing his hands.
‘Even when I heard that it spread to my home state, I still never thought that I would get it — never in a million years,’ Mitchell said on a video call. ‘Being 18 and hearing about all the headlines saying it only affects older people, it gave me even more false security I guess. I thought I could go out and be perfectly fine.
‘I think no matter what your age is regardless if you have health conditions or not, make sure you follow the social distancing guidelines. Don’t treat it like you’re immune and you can’t get affected.’
Mitchell was cleared from quarantine this Saturday and went for a walk for the first time in two weeks.
Yoder has started to display symptoms but is unable to get a test.