A 36-year-old nurse described as “normally fit and healthy” and with no underlying medical conditions is critically ill in intensive care after contracting coronavirus.
Areema Nasreen is on a ventilator at Walsall Manor Hospital where she has worked for 16 years.
Her family say that Nasreen, who has three children and lives in Walsall, first developed symptoms including body aches, a fever and a cough 10 days ago. She tested positive for the virus on Friday.
Speaking to BirminghamLive, her sister Kazeema Nasreen, 22, said: “My sister who is an amazing nurse on the front line and who always helps so many has now caught this virus. She is critically ill in ICU, on a ventilator and fighting for her life.
“I want everyone to know how dangerous this is. My sister is only 36 and is normally fit and healthy. People are not taking this seriously enough. She is young – it is not just the elderly who are at risk.”
She added that the family were “heartbroken” but praised staff at the hospital for going “above and beyond” in their care for her sister.
Nasreen, whose husband and children are in isolation and unable to visit her, qualified as a staff nurse in January last year and works at the hospital’s acute medical unit.
In an effort to encourage more people – particularly those from Muslim backgrounds – to get into nursing, she said at the time: “I would like to think that I can inspire others. I cry every morning because I am so happy that I have finally realised my dream of becoming a nurse. I would urge anyone reading this to not give up.”
Medical professionals are on the front line of fighting coronavirus and many say they are putting their lives at risk.
In an interview with 5Pillars a few days ago, Manchester GP Dr Siema Iqbal said that her protective equipment wasn’t sufficient and that she feared contracting coronavirus and passing it onto her kids at home. She added that her husband – also a doctor – most like has contracted COVID.
In the UK, 5,745 people have tested positive for COVID-19, while 282 people have died of the respiratory illness.