19-year-old speaks about her experience with COVID-19

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A 19-year-old who recovered from COVID-19 is speaking about her symptoms in hopes of helping others identify signs of the virus.

Maria Esparza says on her first few days of symptoms, she thought body aches were from a bike ride and that nausea may have been from a stomach bug.

“For the first few days, my energy was just so low. I couldn’t even get out of bed,” she said.

She says the exhaustion didn’t let up.

“I could talk for five minutes, and I just knocked out and slept for hours, and it was just not normal for me,” she said.

Esparza battled nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, headaches, and loss of taste and smell. 

“It felt like my walk from my bed to the restroom was just really bad,” she said.

She even took a trip to the emergency room.

Esparza thinks she may gotten virus at the gym or when she went shopping.

She also says contracting the virus wasn’t unexpected for her.

“I was one of those people that was really kind of paranoid,” she said. “I was taking major precautions, even at the gym, I have my mask, my hand sanitizer, I was very cautious, unfortunately, I still got it.”

Esparza tested negative after a two-week battle with the virus.

Even though she’s recovered now, she’s still feeling the effects.

“Today I still feel short of breath when I talk too much or do a lot of physical activity,” she said.

She wants to remind everyone to take it seriously, no matter what their age.

“Even myself when I caught it, I was like, ‘okay, I’m young, I’m going to be fine, this is probably the worst it’ll get,’ and it actually got worse as I was progressing into the illness,” she said.

She also encourages people to trust their guts– to isolate and get tested if you think something feels off. She credits doing that for keeping an at-risk family member from being sick.

“You never know who you might spread it to that can actually die from it,” she said.

Esparza also says she has concerns about returning to campus for school. 

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