ABC New reporter Kaylee Hartung tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) after covering the outbreak in Seattle, Washington, she revealed Wednesday on Good Morning America. Hartung, 34, revealed she had received her positive test results on Monday after experiencing mild symptoms the prior Thursday, adding that her symptoms were "something that really knocked me off my feet for a day" before she has largely been feeling back to normal.
"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.," Hartung explained. "So last Wednesday, it was just a runny nose. I honestly thought it was allergies. 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."
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She was initially told by her doctor that she wouldn't be able to get tested because her symptoms were too mild.
"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.
Hartung still wasn't convinced she had contracted the virus, as none of her symptoms were those being closely associated with the coronavirus.
"I wasn't having any sort of a dry cough, I didn't have any shortness of breath, and I didn't feel any pressure on my chest," she explained, adding she instead felt fatigued, with "a headache just right between the eyes," congestion and body aches. Hartung even felt guilty at the time for being tested.
"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 explained, revealing her presence in Seattle made her more of a priority case.
On Instagram after her appearance, Hartung said she was "glad" to share her experience on Good Morning America, "and hopeful that people can learn from it."
"The quicker we get serious about social distance, the quicker we'll all get through this," she concluded.
Photo credit: Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images