Wicklow man recovered from coronavirus showed no symptoms after ski trip

Solicitor says he was fortunate to be quarantined during containment phase

Donal O’Sullivan  was quarantined in the Mater Hospital in Dublin during the containment phase of the pandemic. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Donal O’Sullivan was quarantined in the Mater Hospital in Dublin during the containment phase of the pandemic. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

 

A Co Wicklow solicitor has spoken of how he has recovered from coronavirus, which he said he picked up while on a skiing trip in Italy.

Donal O’Sullivan, a former mayor of Arklow and former president of Arklow Chamber of Commerce, said he was one of seven people who tested positive for the virus. The seven were among a group of 18 people who had travelled to northern Italy earlier this month.

He said at that time there were only “10 to 12” confirmed cases of coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, in Italy. But he said because schools and factories closed many people may have taken the opportunity to go skiing and the Italians “had no idea of the levels of infection” in the community.

He said he was doubly fortunate in that he was quarantined in the Mater Hospital in Dublin during the containment phase of the pandemic, and was completely symptom free as were his six friends who had tested positive after the trip.

Mr O’Sullivan said none of the seven had shown any symptoms and he now had been given a certificate from the HSE to say he was not infectious.

But he warned that many people would not be so fortunate as him, with those who do need treatment would be facing hospitals that would be struggling to cope. He urged people to follow the advice of the HSE.

Mr O’Sullivan told East Coast FM’s Declan Meehan that one of the members of his skiing party from the north of the country was a nurse who had insisted on a test on return from the holiday. When she tested positive he and all the other members of the group wanted to get a test, but he said the HSE had initially not wanted to test as none were showing symptoms.

Mr O’Sullivan said that the very great danger was that people with mild infections like he had, would be infectious without even knowing they had the virus.

Mr O’Sullivan said he had now been discharged from hospital but his practice would be observing all HSE health recommendations and using email and phone instead of face-to-face consultations.

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