The Mail on Sunday
Carrie: I’ve been ill in bed with virus symptoms for seven days
PREGNANT Carrie Symonds last night revealed she has been laid up with suspected coronavirus for a week – as her fiance Boris Johnson entered his tenth day of isolation.
Miss Symonds, who has been dubbed ‘ the First Girlfriend’, told how she has spent the past seven days in bed after experiencing the ‘main symptoms’ of Covid-19.
While the 32-year-old confirmed she hasn’t undergone a test, she says she is now making progress and is beginning to feel better.
She also urged other expectant mothers to read the most recent guidelines on how coronavirus can affect them. It is understood that Miss Symonds, who is said to be about six months pregnant, is with Mr Johnson at their flat in Downing Street after initially isolating him when he was struck down ten days ago. However No 10 would not confirm her location.
The news comes amid increasing concern that the Prime Minister is suffering more than the ‘mild’ symptoms he claims, with one source saying he had been ‘hit like a sledgehammer’ by the virus.
Mr Johnson was due out of the standard week- long isolation on Friday, but last night was continuing to keep his distance from aides and staff because he still has a high temperature.
Today will be the tenth day since the 55-year-old tested positive for Covid- 19, with experts warning that more serious cases can last for up to two weeks.
Longer cases can also lead to complications, with doctors warning that a high temperature can be a sign of pneumonia.
Downing Street refused to be drawn on whether Mr Johnson was being visited by doctors at No 10, but officials pointed out that he is in constant contact with Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty.
Multiple No 10 i nsiders have told The Mail on Sunday that Mr Johnson has ‘been coughing and spluttering his way through conference calls’ with staff but is stubbornly refusing to stop working.
One senior source said: ‘He has not been resting enough and is still leading from the front. Obviously that is beginning to slow down his recovery. He needs to go to bed.’
Revealing her own news late yesterday afternoon, Miss Symonds wrote on Twitter: ‘I’ve spent the past week in bed with the main symptoms of coronavirus.
‘ I haven’t needed to be tested and, after seven days of rest, I feel stronger and I’m on the mend. Being pregnant with Covid-19 is obviously worrying. To other pregnant women, please do read and follow the most up to date guidance which I found to be very reassuring.’
Her message included a link to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ advice. Health Minister Nadine Dorries, who was struck down with coronavirus three weeks ago in what was one of the first high-profile cases in the UK of the illness, told how she had been supporting Miss Symonds.
‘ I’ve been speaking to Carrie Symonds regularly throughout,’ she wrote. ‘She presented with and has been through the classic signs and symptoms most people experience with Covid- 19. She is now recovering and getting stronger day by day.’ She then added the hashtag ‘ InThisTogether’. Miss Symonds and Mr Johnson are being cheered up by their rescue puppy Dilyn, who they adopted in the summer from charity Friends of Animals Wales.
Dilyn is said to have been at her side since she began self-isolating. Ten days ago, she posted a picture on Instagram of herself and the Jack Russell lying on a bed with the words: ‘Self-isolating with this one isn’t so bad.’
Last month, Miss Symonds was understood to have followed Government guidelines by working from home rather than going into her London offices.
She is not thought to be on maternity leave from her role as senior adviser at environmental conservation charity Oceana, where she has worked for the past two years. The former Tory Party communications director has also been unable to see her 70-year-old mother Josephine, who has been told to self-isolate at her South West London home.
The Mail on Sunday’s Dr Ellie Cannon says that pregnant women need not overly worry about catching the virus but should take extra steps if they do.
She said: ‘Pregnant women are most likely to have Covid-19 as a mild illness making a full recovery. Any more severe symptoms should be discussed with their GP or midwife or 111.’
No 10 declined to comment.