Nurse talks about her recovery after COVID-19 diagnosis

Posted at 5:28 PM, Mar 17, 2020

A nurse who tested positive for COVID-19 says she’s getting better each day and expects to fully recover.

Lisa Merck is not sure where she became infected with the virus but says symptoms started out very mild late last month.

"I started having just a little sniffling in my nose. It's almost like if you go outside and it's cold out and your nose just starts running a bit," Merck said in a video interview from her house.

After a few days, in late February, the mild symptoms became worse.

“Every time I stood up, I felt like I just kind of wanted to pass out. I got really tired,” she said.

What surprised her is that after a few more days she started to feel better. She felt well enough to volunteer her time with a ski race in her small, central Colorado town. At one point, she went for a run with her husband.

Doctors tested her for influenza and the results came back negative.

Her health continued to improve, she said.

"I was feeling okay,” she said. “I watched my little nephew, and then around March 1st and 2nd, I started getting a fever. I started getting a little short of breath."

This time, those symptoms persisted, and she eventually asked her husband to take her to the emergency room the second week of March. She tested positive for COVID-19.

Merck provided a copy of her county health department notification, which requested she not have contact with members of the public while she recovers.

"I don't know where I got that kind of virus. That's the hard thing is not knowing I could have picked it up from a patient and I could have picked it up from a surface,” she said. “It could have been at an airport, on a place or a bus. I have no idea where I got it and that's the scary thing. And you know, especially since I am hyper vigilant about it, making sure my hands are clean and that I do the right thing.”

Merck said she agreed to talk publicly, because she wants others to know what to watch for. She says she also wants the public to know that most people will beat the virus.

"I'm feeling a lot better. I'm feeling more energetic. I did a little yoga this morning. I did some stretching," she said.

She’s still staying away from other people as she recovers.