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ABC News' Kaylee Hartung Contracted Coronavirus While Covering The Seattle Outbreak

Gettyimages | Icon Sportswire
By Clark Sparky

Kaylee Hartung was in Seattle, Washington covering the outbreak in that area of COVID-19 a couple weeks ago and during that time contracted the virus herself. She was reporting on coronavirus for ABC News, and said her symptoms started last Thursday, which was four days after returning home from Washington.

“It really all started with a runny nose about a week ago, and that was four days after I spent a week in Seattle covering the initial outbreak of the virus in the U.S.,” she said to Robin Roberts on "Good Morning America" on Thursday.

“So last Wednesday, it was just a runny nose. I honestly thought it was allergies," Hartung, 34, continued. "

"I didn’t think it was anything more than that. I woke up the next morning, just last Thursday — and you know when you wake up, and you know something’s wrong immediately? You just feel it in your body. I’ve had the feeling before when I’ve had the flu, when my body is just broken down when I’ve gone too hard and have been run down. I knew something was off as soon as I woke up, and that’s when I started consulting medical professionals."

Gettyimages | Witthaya Prasongsin

She was told she could not be tested because her symptoms were too mild and the number of tests are limited.

“I was defeated, confused, I didn’t know where to turn and what to do, and my healthcare provider actually called me back, and said ‘upon review of your case, because of where you’ve been, we do want you to get tested,'” she explained.

After getting tested, Hartung said she felt guilty that she was able to get a test when so many others can't.

“We’ve all heard that these test kits are so valuable, that there aren’t enough for all the people who want to get tested. I’ll tell you, I feel guilty that I’m someone who was able to get one,” she said.

In addition to avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people and social distancing, the CDC has issued some tips for helping to avoid contracting the disease.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Stay home when you are sick.

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.

Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

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