kms_mask

By Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

My first symptoms were a mild feverish feeling late evening on 16th August. I had felt similar symptoms in early June and I tested negative so I just took a Crocin and thought it would take care of it. The next morning though, I continued to feel feverish and I measured it – 99°F. That’s when I decided to test myself and my entire household as I have my 89 year old mother, a cancer survivor and my 71 year old husband, a cancer patient to worry about. I immediately self quarantined in a separate room and waited anxiously for the test results. At 5 pm I was told that I tested positive but that everyone else at home including my staff tested negative. Mercifully, the virus spared my mom and my husband. I asked for the CT (Cycle Threshold) value to assess my viral load and when I saw it was 23, I felt the load was safe enough to be home quarantined under tele-supervision. Dr Murli Mohan from Narayana Health, Bengaluru and Dr Shashank Joshi from Lilavati hospital, Mumbai, were my key medical supervisors.

I was put on a course of Favipiravir, Azithromycin and Paracetamol. Apart from this, I continued with my daily dose of Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc, Baby Aspirin and Chyavanprash! Not to mention my twice a week 200mg dose of HCQ!

Day 2 & 3 were uneventful. I was measuring my oxygen saturation levels 6 times a day which were all between 96-98% even after a brisk 6 minute walk. My temperature was normal but late evening on Day 3, I felt fluish and it extended to Day 4 & 5. No measurable temperature but frequent bouts of sweating which suggested that my body was fighting the virus. I was also tracking my Cytokine levels. My cRP was normal at <0.5 throughout the infected period which indicated no inflammation. My D-Dimer and Ferritin levels were also within normal range. I also tracked my cytokine levels especially IL-6 which were undetectable. By Day 6, I started feeling better. My RT-PCR test on Day 10 was still positive but with a CT value of 33 suggesting a very low and non infectious viral load generally attributed to dead virus shedding. I also tested my blood for antibodies and T-cells on Day 9. IgM was noticeably present but not IgG. My innate immune response based on Dendritic and NK cells was strong. A robust T cell activation was observed in my sample with a higher frequency of antigen specific T cells, effector T cells, Memory T cells and cytokine release on stimulation. I basically had developed T Cell immunity which could potentially protect me for a long duration. On Day 12 My RT-PCR test was positive with a CT value of 36 heralding the final leg of my Covid-19 saga!

My experience has been mild and uneventful. No loss of smell or taste and no drop in oxygen saturation.

I recommend to everyone with mild fluish symptoms to test and decide on hospitalization or home quarantine based on viral load: CT values <20 with fever ought not to home isolate.

Monitoring oxygen saturation several times a day is psychologically good for your virus fighting morale. I also recommend that you try and exercise or go for a short walk every day to keep fit. I did not experience any loss of appetite and I suggest a diet of fruit, vegetables, lentils and cereal. Soups and salads were a daily feature for my meals.

My constant companions were NETFLIX and Amazon Prime; avoid TV and social media as negative news are bad for fighting Covid-19!

My Covid Diary

My Simple Learnings:

  1. Don’t panic on testing positive.
  2. Make sure you assess your viral load based on CT value.
  3. Mild symptoms with moderate viral load qualifies for home isolation.
  4. Monitor your oxygen saturation several times a day to ensure it doesn’t drop below 95%
  5. Make sure you are supervised by a doctor through a Telehealth program.
  6. Do yoga and walk as much as you can.
  7. Your body will fight the virus in a week.
  8. Doctors should not just treat clinical Symptoms but rather the cause of the symptoms. Eg. If SpO2 reduces, just increasing oxygen flow is not the answer. Treating inflammation caused by cytokines is the answer.
  9. Lack of early intervention in mitigating the inflammation and cytokine storm can cause post Covid-19 fatigue and respiratory ailments.
  10. Finally, please test and present yourself as soon as you feel mild symptoms. Do not be in denial and wait for more severe symptoms. You have reduced your chances of a mild disease by doing so.

kms

In June I was half hoping that I contracted Covid-19 to overcome the paranoia and the suspense that has taken over our lives. I was also expecting the infection to be mild and short lived. My Covid-19 experience has matched these expectations and I hope that it allays the fear of the virus.

57 thoughts on “Winning Over Covid-19: My Personal Experience

  1. 👌👍It was grt u got your self tested at every stage for viral load and biomarkers of other vital function,including T cell immunity , antibody levels and cytokine levels . This is the first comprehensive report of mild symptoms and early intervention which worked admirably . Thanks for sharing the drugs used at this stage .

    Like

  2. It’s awesome that you shared your experience along with the treatment plan specially because unavailability of past experience to doctors in relatively smaller towns, people can at least suggest/question doctors with this piece of information. So, thank you for sharing!

    Like

  3. We salute for your greatness that you have informed about your covied 19 situation. Your point of view will benefit millions of people. We pray for your speedy recovery. May God bless you with a healthy life. Take care.

    Like

  4. Thanks for sharing your experience and explaining step by step day wise tests undertaken and precautionary as well as medication you should undergo.
    No doubt being in the field of pharma and vast experience and interest of knowledge and precaution recovered you fast and safe.

    Like

  5. A very factual and pragmatic approach!
    Happy that you came out winning. If one wants to get tested what is the procedure, where does one go what does one do? What is done during the test, how long does it take and how long to wait for results? How reliable and safe is the test?This is for a totally asymptomatic and healthy person so in that case is a test really necessary?

    Like

  6. Glad you’re feeling okay now Ma’am 🙂 Good that you stayed away from social media. It just makes everything worse. Also what did you watch on Netflix and Prime 🙂

    Like

  7. Thank you for sharing your experience, how did you
    test
    a. Cytokine level
    b. cRP level
    C. D-Dimer and Ferritin levels
    D. cytokine levels especially IL-6

    Like

    1. Respected Madam,
      Congratulations .
      Sharing your experience is very valuable and encouraging in the backdrop of information ( scary) available in the media. While the medical terms would be well understood by people in the field, other informations about fighting the virus are very valuable to all.
      Thanks very much .
      Wishing you and your family all the very best
      L. Nagarajan

      Like

  8. Dear Dr.Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw,
    Congratulations for overcoming the Covid-19 and you have explained very well about your fighting strategy against Covid-19 so that common man can understand very easily to follow.
    Thank you for sharing

    Like

  9. It was an inspiring and much needed write up from a person who is dealing with medicines day in and day out. I am one among the 1.3 billion Indians who thinks and fear that covid 19 might change not only mine most importantly my near and dear one’s course of life. After reading this blog I really felt the ray of hope and now looking at this pandemic in a very positive way. Thank you madam

    Like

  10. The narration matches your vast experience in biochem. I could relate myself with 95 percent of what you described but it seems common man can only test for total or IgG. It would be great if you could explain about T cell immunity, cytokene storm and tests related to them. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    Like

  11. Iam a small town inhabitant.
    I am a senior citizen with comorbidities.
    I don’t know how I can obtain the facilities as described by you Ma’am.
    As you have rightly said,the earliest,is the best.
    Please help me out of my shackles.
    Can I get the help of Tele-Doctor?
    Thank you, Ma’am

    Like

  12. Thanks Madam for sharing your experience. This will surely help others fight this Pandemic with more positivity and preparedness.

    Like

  13. Glad to read that you are recovering from covid 19 and your positive attitude to fight the virus. Wishing you a speedy recovery. Thanks for sharing your experience and do’s-don’t that can be utilized by people in the similar situation.
    Further, rather than panicking, people will accept it and will deal with it as a regular ailment.

    Like

  14. Thank you for sharing the experience coming from an expert in the field. I am trying to find labs that do T-Cell testing. Today is my 14th day. Can you share name of the lab that does T-Cell testing in Bangalore? Thank you.

    Like

  15. Thanks Ma’am for sharing your experience
    It’s truly very well worked up and well narrated
    Every nitty gritty in the journey has been beautifully elucidated.
    Hats off to your passion for sharing and motivating others

    Like

  16. Thank you for sharing . Your experience of going thro’ is very insightful. This also gives people courage to face this virus rather than panic over it.
    Take care and God bless. As usual one more example showing your tough fighing spirit.

    Like

  17. Thanks for sharing your insightful experience with Covid19. I wish and pray almighty you’ll recover soon and come out with more dynamically.

    Like

  18. It is amazing to note that you could monitor and manage so many things. Normally people will not be so aware about the vitals to be monitored and things like that and would be on the mercy of other family members or doctors who of course avoid visiting the house.
    This is a good case history. People should share such information. Thanks.

    Like

  19. Thanks for sharing. I experienced the same with loss of smell and taste. Thanks to my regular walks in the corridor of the hospital, I was back home in a week.
    Your clear description will help people overcome the fear.
    Here is a big name who made the deadly disease seem not so deadly after all.
    Thanks Ma’am

    Like

  20. Hi Madam,
    Could you please share the source of carona infection to you.
    I want to know how did you contacted it if you are aware, you may even can guess as this could be the reason.
    This can help many people in India.
    Thanks,
    Maruthi

    Like

  21. Thanks for sharing your full recovery table !!
    It’s very helpful!! Wishing you a speedy recovery to you and your spouse and praying all your household and family members stay safe and good health!!

    Like

  22. same thing happened with me….
    i tested positive for RT-PCR test, but i didn’t had any symptoms like fever, cold, feverish, loss of smell & taste and any other problem of breath..i was filling normal. my CT value was 24..
    for one week i was hospitalized in isolation ward and 1 week for home quarantine..

    Like

  23. मैडम ईश्वर से यही प्रार्थना है कि इस सकंट कालीन समय से ,यथा शीघ्र आपको निजात दें,और आप पूरी तरह से स्वस्थ हो जाय। आपका शुभ चिंतक -डा0 नन्दलाल गौतम ,गुरु नानक मार्ग ,न्यू कलोनी देवरिया (उतर प्रदेश)
    On Tue, Sep 1, 2020, 3:07 PM Kiran Mazumdar – Shaw wrote:
    > kiranshaw posted: “By Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw My first symptoms were a mild > feverish feeling late evening on 16th August. I had felt similar symptoms > in early June and I tested negative so I just took a Crocin and thought it > would take care of it. The next morning though, I ” >

    Like

  24. Dear Kiran u r just great in giving total moral boost for all who Afride of this covid-19 viruses. Let all fight together . this viruses are just make our system systamatic… Best of feture and luck. Regards.
    K.S. Manjunath from Bangalore.
    X. Wockhardt medical Representative.

    Like

  25. Dear Kiran u r just great in giving total moral boost for all who Afride of this covid-19 viruses. Let all fight together . this viruses are just make our system systamatic… Best of feture and luck. Regards.
    K.S. Manjunath from Bangalore.
    X. Wockhardt medical Representative.

    Like

  26. In the interest of science I request you to tell us if you have any comorbidities. Also do you have any guess about how you contracted virus.

    Like

  27. Dear Kiran, thanks for sharing your experience. I am glad that you are well. Please do not take this in a condescending way but not everyone in india is a chairman of biocon. Not everyone in india has access or resources to do viral load and cytokine levels and fancy expensive and newest antivirals which don’t work anyways. I think you need to be practical and it would be appreciated if biocon realises the ground reality and social responsibility from its chairman’s expereince to help the society and make thses tests available at affordable rates to those who really need it. This will happen only when you believe in what you wrote in your blog.

    Like

  28. Thank you for putting your experience on the web. It helps many to know how to cope if covid strikes. There is so much news around, that it is really difficult to distinguish real from fake. Glad to know that you recovered and I wish you good health.

    Like

  29. Thank you for putting your experience on the web. It helps many to know how to cope if covid strikes. There is so much news around, that it is really difficult to distinguish real from fake. Glad to know that you recovered and I wish you good health.

    Like

  30. Thanks for helping us know a thing or two about, What to look for, What to expect and What not to do, when tested positive. Take Care. Thanks Again.

    Like

  31. As a science enthusiast and avid follower on the latest development on COVID-19, I found the article to be one of the best document that I have recently come across. Although few technical terms are mentioned but that does not limit the overall understanding of the message it intends to deliver. Thoroughly enjoyed it reading and comprehending. Thank you mam.

    Like

  32. Thank you Dr. Shaw for informative own experience. I hope you will be soon in a great path of recovery. I understand completely your scientific expertise about this scenario. Only concern is how normal lay people will have all possible test, almost 3-4 times within the symptomatic/ non symptomatic period of the infection? You have all the access in your laboratory, or you have enough access to get those test done. Usually, laboratory possibly not indicate CT values in the report except positive/ negative result. Also T- cell active status, inflammatory
    cytokines and other parameters would be more costly! Please if you come up at your company (Biocon) with test kits and other recommendations of vitamins etc as a less costly package at this time of crisis would be very helpful for most of the needy people. These are my suggestions only.

    Like

  33. It is nice of you to have spared time to explain every little detail. Since we hold you in high esteem, there is a possibility that those who are tested positive may start taking all the drugs you have mentioned including HCQ. I wonder if it would be a safe practice. Maybe, you can caution your readers on this. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  34. Thank you for recoding and sharing your experience in such detail ma’am. I am trying to understand how our immunity works and the inevitable question that arises is how does one attain immunity against the virus despite taking antibiotics and antivirals? Isn’t this contradictory to what we already know about minimising the use of antibiotics to develop our own immunity against microorganisms?

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s