LONDON, June 14 (Xinhua) -- A British woman, who fell ill on Jan. 6, was found to have contracted the novel coronavirus after an antibody test -- presumably nearly a month before the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Britain on Jan. 29, according to local media.
Susannah Ford said she fell ill two days after she returned home to west London from the Obergurgl resort in Austria, where she had been on a skiing holiday with her husband and two daughters.
Yet she was the only one in the family who fell ill. The 53-year-old art director did not notice the link between her illness and COVID-19, until she read reports about the disease weeks later and related symptoms started to appear.
"It felt like death," Ford told The Sunday Times. "I ached terribly in every muscle and joint for five days and was too groggy even to go to the Eliot prize for poetry."
The woman had an antibody test late last month, which showed she was infected with the coronavirus. But she cannot be completely sure whether she contracted the virus in early January.
"We didn’t go to any clubs or discos, we ate in the hotel every night and were then safely tucked up in bed," she said. "But I guess when you are skiing you touch lots of things -- ski poles, lift buttons..."
Though her infection time cannot be specified, Ford noted she hasn't been ill since or come into contact with people who have the virus.
Britain has recorded a total of 295,828 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and the death toll reached 41,747 as of 0633 GMT on Sunday, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.