FOREST GROVE, Ore. — In February, a Forest Grove woman was diagnosed with COVID-19 while on vacation in Japan. She and her husband could not come home to Oregon for a month. Then soon after they got back, the stay home orders went into place.
“It's a unique perspective for sure having gone through it in Japan and then come back and it just be ramping up here,” explained Rebecca Frasure, who recovered from COVID-19.
At the beginning of the pandemic, Rebecca and Kent Frasure were thrust into the news as one of the first local couples dealing with COVID-19 while on vacation in Japan. Kent never got it, but on February 7, Rebecca was moved from their cruise ship to a Tokyo hospital where she tested positive for COVID-19.
“My symptoms again were mostly just a dry cough that lasted a week or so, a little bit of a fever, I don't think it got over maybe 100.5 or so,” Rebecca explained.
Rebecca said she only felt sick for about a week, but she continued to test positive for COVID-19 long after her symptoms were gone.
“I really only experienced symptoms for about a week, but I continued to test positive for, I mean, almost over three weeks, so it was a really long duration of the virus,” Rebecca said.
She was stuck in the hospital for 28 days.
Here in Oregon, health officials are telling people to wait 72 hours from the last time they showed symptoms before coming out of isolation. KGW asked health officials about that timeframe.
"There are certainly stories about people who continue to test positive for the virus well after 72 hours, it's not clear how infectious they are at that point and this is Centers for Disease Control criteria that we look to, again, that we think is practical and that is going to capture more people as far as the end point of their true infectious period,” explained Multnomah County Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines.
Because it is not clear how infectious someone is after they stop showing symptoms, Rebecca thinks we need more testing.
“There should be way more testing in the states, very, very clearly there should be,” Rebecca said. “I think that there are probably a lot of people walking around with this who have no idea that they have it, I would have never known.”
Without testing, Rebecca said she would have gone about her normal routine thinking it was just the common cold.
“I would've gone to work had I been home and etc., so it's one of these things that can, you know, lie dormant and you don't feel bad, so you're trying to, even now with social distancing, you know, going to the grocery store or running that errand on the weekend and potentially infecting others and that's just, yeah it's a scary situation now,” Rebecca said.
Now that she is back home and virus free, Rebecca wants to help others. She registered to donate plasma to see if she has any antibodies that could help develop an immunity to the virus.