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Do you suspect you may already have had Covid in Pattaya?


Guderian

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This is a bit of a long one, but bear with me as I think it's an interesting topic.

 

I hadn’t really thought about it until recently, I'm just glad that I’ve managed to steer clear of the virus thus far. I had a minor cold almost exactly a year ago, but it was nothing to speak of, though it left me with an annoying cough.

Over the months following that, I tried several courses of antibiotics to clear up the cough, from roxithromycin to the powerful amoxicillin with clavulanic acid, but none of them made the least bit of difference. Aha, I thought, so it’s not bacterial and must be a viral infection, but as it’s been going on for so long, and it’s an occasional chesty cough rather than a persistent dry one, it can’t be Covid.

Then I learnt of two things. A friend of my brother’s back in the UK who’s in her 50’s, but is a gym teacher and very fit, came down with Covid a few months ago. She had some nasty symptoms, as in a fever and so on, and was hospitalised, but she soon shrugged it off and was back on her feet again. Her only complaint was that it left her with an annoying, chesty cough, presumably what they’re calling long Covid.

The next thing I learnt was that a well-known Pattaya personality (I’ll respect his privacy and won’t name him) was told by his doctor that he’d probably had Covid. He’d had the symptoms of a very bad cold and it had taken him ages to get over them. Back in February 2020, around the same time I had my “cold”, a bunch of farang mates of his had returned from a trip to China and they’d got together for a few drinks or something to eat. At least one of them had picked up the virus in China and was happily spreading it around his mates. We expats here in Pattaya are a relatively small world, and tend to eat and drink in the same places, and even if we don’t know the guy I’m referring to or his mates, we probably do know a friend of theirs or a friend of a friend.

This is all speculation on my part, but we know that Covid was around in Pattaya in February as it became a problem in March, so given the above two points I’m inclined to suspect that my “cold” early last year might well have been Covid, and the annoying cough that sounds the same as the ailment that my brother’s friend was left with is long Covid. Of course, it might also be something completely different, but without checking for antibodies I’ve no way of knowing.

Which is why I'm asking the question: do you suspect for similar (or possibly other) reasons that you had Covid in the February/March period last year? Does anybody else have any persistent symptoms that they think might be long Covid? As the PCR tests are so expensive here, and I have no idea where you’d get antibody tests done to see if you’ve had Covid in the past, I guess it will all be speculation, but I’m interested to hear if anybody else has had a similar experience in Pattaya.

 

 

As a footnote, I’ll also tell you about some elderly friends and family members of mine back in the UK. Over the November to January period, several of them were admitted to hospitals for non-Covid reasons (a broken leg, for example in one case). During their stay, they all became infected with the virus and eventually died as a result. Meanwhile, around two weeks ago, my niece’s father-in-law, who’s well into his 80’s, fell over at home and the paramedics said it was best to check him out in hospital, so off they went. And yes, within a week he also had the virus, but the lucky guy is asymptomatic, he doesn't even know that he’s got the virus. The point I’m laboring towards here is that the virus can affect people very differently. I’m a lot older and nothing like as fit as my brother’s ladyfriend, yet she had far worse symptoms than I did (if I had it at all, of course), but we’ve both ended up with the annoying cough. Mostly, it gets exponentially more dangerous as your age rises above 70, but then it evidently doesn't affect some old folk.

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I had visitors from the west year ago January with a transition through China (3 hr stop over to change planes). My friends wife was coughing badly and I ended up catching what she had. Tried antibiotics also (thought I had a chest infection) to no avail (ongoing for ten days) but then I tripled up on D3 and in 4 days I was getting better and then it was gone. Thought about it on an off for a year now whether I had it, still not sure.  

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I have asked myself the same question. I had a couple of off days around February last year followed by a persistent phlegmy cough, especially in the morning. Found myself short of breath when wearing a mask to do the shopping. It has very gradually improved, though I wouldn't say my chest has ever been 100% right since.

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I'm convinced there is  an endemic milder strain ubiquitous in Thailand and if you test a lot you find a lot. Unless the government were minded to test a larger representative sample like they do in UK and other countries do, then we will never know. Probably wouldn't suit anyone's agenda here to know the truth either particularly if the success of controlling the virus was as much down to accident than design. 

 

I maybe wrong but their methodology seems to start from backwards tracing and testing a symptomatic hospitalisation which are relatively rare and then find a lot of asymptomatic/unproblematic positive cases as a result. 

 

  • Plus vitamin D and a healthy national diet and low levels of obesity and disability 
  • sunshine and outdoor well ventilated culture
  • ubiquitous mask wearing and cultural social distancing
  • population that treat it as a public health issue and not a 'freedom/politicized' issue
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    I was very sick in December 2019 until the first week or so of January 2020.  Bad cough, trouble breathing.  Went to the doctor several times and at the second visit they had me breathe in oxygen for an hour or so.   I have been sick with bad coughs before and trouble breathing but this seemed much worse.  I finally got better but even now I have sort of a chronic congestion in my throat that hasn't gone away.  I've been using this throat sprayer that has been really helpful--especially at night when it seems to be worse.   But, all of 2020 and now into 2021 I have not been sick with my usual couple times a year coughs.  

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Hard to say. Would be nice if antibody test were available. Problem here is that many covid symptoms similar to what you'd get during "normal times" due to health threatening pollution levels. Right now at 101, 4x WHO okay level. "Unhealthy for sensitive groups"

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My guess is that a lot of the population has probably had Covid.  Back in July most of the locals in the Amphur were coughing and snottering all over the place.  I got it and beat it in about a week.  A lot of other people were hacking for the better part of 6 weeks.  I bet if they administered the cheap antigen tests they'd be floored by the results.

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December 2019 coming from China, I had all the symptoms. It was unheard of then and I was sick for my two weeks Christmas holiday in Jomtien. Tried 1000mcg Amoxcilin for the cough but didn't work. Vomiting, no taste, no smell, fever,  was tired and no energy. I felt like <deleted> for two weeks. I am very fit with no health issues.

 

Yes it was COVID as when I got back to China on 2nd January the whole Wuhan story was out and then China went on Lockdown in late January 2020. So it was around even earlier then some people think. Sadly, I like others, didn't know what it was at the time. I know of others who where in Pattaya had the same symptoms and lived in China.

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Thanks for the info, it seems that I'm certainly not alone in this. It's a pity we can't get antibody tests done easily, it would probably be a relief to know that you'd had it and survived.

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21 minutes ago, Guderian said:

Thanks for the info, it seems that I'm certainly not alone in this. It's a pity we can't get antibody tests done easily, it would probably be a relief to know that you'd had it and survived.

Yes provided that gives you some immunity.... but consensus seems to think you do, but it lasts for a limited time.... and would a different strain cause you different reaction? So may questions that seem to push everyone to getting the vaccine. 

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18 hours ago, najomtiensun said:

I'm convinced there is  an endemic milder strain ubiquitous in Thailand and if you test a lot you find a lot. Unless the government were minded to test a larger representative sample like they do in UK and other countries do, then we will never know. Probably wouldn't suit anyone's agenda here to know the truth either particularly if the success of controlling the virus was as much down to accident than design. 

 

I maybe wrong but their methodology seems to start from backwards tracing and testing a symptomatic hospitalisation which are relatively rare and then find a lot of asymptomatic/unproblematic positive cases as a result. 

 

  • Plus vitamin D and a healthy national diet and low levels of obesity and disability 
  • sunshine and outdoor well ventilated culture
  • ubiquitous mask wearing and cultural social distancing
  • population that treat it as a public health issue and not a 'freedom/politicized' issue

When the news began to spread that Covid 19 had been around in China for sometime before it was officially announced, I had to ask myself 'how could it not have come to Thailand' during that period. The number of Chinese tourists coming here and the demographic spread within Thailand of the virus were, to me a smoking gun.

 

This bullet point of yours is also of interest: 'sunshine and outdoor well ventilated culture'. Once again I point to the demographic spread of the virus in that it hardly made any headway in the rural hinterlands, where life revolves around sunshine, fresh air and natural social distancing. And it seems to be protecting us up in 'rice paddy land' this time around as well.

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19 hours ago, Guderian said:

, and I have no idea where you’d get antibody tests done to see if you’ve had Covid in the past,

 

Went to my local lab here in Issan for cbc months back and enquired about covid test cost , couldnt do on site needed to go to a hospital, however this lab did offer an antibody test for 1000 baht.

 

Lab is part of the Thonburi labs group many branches and possibly one in Pattaya or nearby.

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1 hour ago, sapson said:

 

Went to my local lab here in Issan for cbc months back and enquired about covid test cost , couldnt do on site needed to go to a hospital, however this lab did offer an antibody test for 1000 baht.

 

Lab is part of the Thonburi labs group many branches and possibly one in Pattaya or nearby.

 

Thanks, that's interesting. The blood lab that seems most popular here in Pattaya is Lifecare in South Pattaya, I've used it many times myself. I believe that it's an independent lab, not part of a group, but I'll get hold of them and ask about an antibody test. If it settles this uncertainty, it would be well worth 1,000 Baht.

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3 hours ago, jacko45k said:

Yes provided that gives you some immunity.... but consensus seems to think you do, but it lasts for a limited time.... and would a different strain cause you different reaction? So may questions that seem to push everyone to getting the vaccine. 

 

Yes, that's what I was thinking. The stories you read about the new variants were saying that they're no more deadly than the original flavour, just a lot more contagious, but now I'm reading reports saying that the Kent variant causes 40% to 60% more fatalities than the original one. Which is it, I don't know? And the views on how effective the various vaccines are against the new variants seem similarly mixed.

 

I also wonder if people who were asymptomatic when they caught the first virus would have a similar response if they got a dose of the South African version now. So many unknowns. I was offered the AZ vaccine a week ago, but it would have meant travelling back to my local GP's surgery in the UK, so I had to graciously decline. Still, until we can get a non-Chinese and non-Russian vaccine here in Thailand, it would at least be some comfort to know that you'd survived Covid once, even if it was the wimpy original version, lol.

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4 hours ago, Guderian said:

Thanks for the info, it seems that I'm certainly not alone in this. It's a pity we can't get antibody tests done easily, it would probably be a relief to know that you'd had it and survived.

The only thing with antibody tests from what I believe is they have a shelf life. Up to 6 months I was informed.

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I know some will be skeptical of what I am going to tell you and I am not even sure of it but here goes:

 

In March of 2019 (Yes many months before Covid-19 was known and possibly even existed) My wife and I flew from Bangkok back to California. We flew on a Chinese airline and transited in a Chinese international airport. We didn't wear any masks on any flights because Covid was not a thing at that time and few people wore them. About 3 days after landing in California I got quite ill. I had a fever and cough with lots of phlegm. I know people say they have a dry cough but I always have an issue with phlegm every time I'm sick. Over about a week I gradually got better. 2 days after I came down with it my wife got sick. Her illness was much more severe than mine. She had trouble breathing and a few times we considered going to an emergency room, but didn't. Remember this is before Covid was a known thing. Then she slowly lost her entire sense of smell. Either she could not smell or everything smelled like burnt coffee or sickeningly sweet when in fact it did not. For the next six months she had trouble breathing and it took a full year for her smell to return. We went to many Dr's but no one knew why she lost her smell. I am type O+ and she is B+ if it was Covid then O+ tends to have less severe symptoms. To this day she still has some issues with coughing that she never had before but she largely is recovered. We are both in our 40s and otherwise healthy.

 

My theory is this could have been a very early strain of Covid-19. Since then it mutated and become more and more deadly though recent headlines indicate it is now getting less virulent. So if this is correct the virus in some form was around as much as 6 months before what is currently reported as the earliest known case.

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2 hours ago, Moonlover said:

When the news began to spread that Covid 19 had been around in China for sometime before it was officially announced, I had to ask myself 'how could it not have come to Thailand' during that period. The number of Chinese tourists coming here and the demographic spread within Thailand of the virus were, to me a smoking gun.

I agree and 70% of the people I knew got 'a virus' that nobody knew at the time what it was. It spread so quickly. One positive thing in China is that people were used to wearing masks with the air quality, so as soon as people around others got sick. the masks came out.

 

I will say it again if you don't mass test people, millions could have it and just class it as another sickness and i feel that is what happened in Thailand especially for the first quarter of 2020.

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17 minutes ago, Laughing Gravy said:

The only thing with antibody tests from what I believe is they have a shelf life. Up to 6 months I was informed.

People were still testing positive with antibodies of the original Sars when this pandemic started which is 17 years after being infected.I know it's not the same virus but it does indicate what is possible.It's good to see another thread on this topic, the last one I remember was in the early stages of this pandemic and there were many similar responses as this one.I also had the classic symptoms in mid to late January last year way up here in Isaan.My sister and her son visited from Australia over that new year period and her and her son had similar symptoms when she returned to Australia after spending a few days in Bangkok.I've posted several times about my suspicions that this virus raced through Thailand pretty much undetected except for the 3600 unknown viral pneumonia deaths that Dr Turner found on a government MOPH website before being removed in about April last year.

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My wife and I got sick January 3rd 2020 after a trip to Chyaipum  with the same symtoms as previous OP's and it last for about a week. We went to the doctor and she got oxygen there days in a row plus a shot for pneumonia and I hade fever and a cough for about two months after. We are both fine and I have ben thinking about this many times if it was Covid 19...

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1 hour ago, Laughing Gravy said:

The only thing with antibody tests from what I believe is they have a shelf life. Up to 6 months I was informed.

 

I'm not sure, as with so much else where Covid is concerned, but you may have seen the stories recently in the papers saying that they're finding people in France with antibodies that they somehow date to October 2019. There have been other stories over the last year about people in Italy and China with antibodies that they somehow correlate with the virus before it became a known entity (at least outside the virus weaponisation lab in Wuhan, lol).

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2 hours ago, Guderian said:

 

I'm not sure, as with so much else where Covid is concerned, but you may have seen the stories recently in the papers saying that they're finding people in France with antibodies that they somehow date to October 2019. There have been other stories over the last year about people in Italy and China with antibodies that they somehow correlate with the virus before it became a known entity (at least outside the virus weaponisation lab in Wuhan, lol).

Just did a bit of research and this was interesting. That word maybe again.

 

"Antibodies may be detected in your blood for several months or more after you recover from COVID-19. Although these antibodies probably provide some immunity to the COVID-19 virus, there's currently not enough evidence to know how long the antibodies last or to what extent past infection with the virus helps protect you from getting another infection."

 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/covid-19-antibody-testing/about/pac-20489696

 

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On 2/17/2021 at 10:11 AM, darksidedog said:

I have asked myself the same question. I had a couple of off days around February last year followed by a persistent phlegmy cough, especially in the morning. Found myself short of breath when wearing a mask to do the shopping. It has very gradually improved, though I wouldn't say my chest has ever been 100% right since.

Phlegmy ? Covid symptons are a dry cough, but not inclusive, still possible if you have difficulty breathing.

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When will people ever learn that antibiotics do not work on any virus?  All you are doing by over using them is helping future bugs develop resistance to antibiotics so when you might actually have a bacterial infection they won't work.

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1 hour ago, pomchop said:

When will people ever learn that antibiotics do not work on any virus?  All you are doing by over using them is helping future bugs develop resistance to antibiotics so when you might actually have a bacterial infection they won't work.

 

When I had the coronavirus, ibuprofen was a big help, and I am not talking about just for pain relief.

 

No idea how that works but it did.

 

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