Appearing on “Fox & Friends Weekend,” 29-year-old Kaelyn Sheedy — the first to contract the virus in Tampa — said she believes she become infected when traveling in Milan, Italy during a two-week trip to Europe.
“I left the day before there was a really big outbreak and my guess would be maybe, you know, the transportation, the airport, somewhere there,” she said.
Sheedy, a sports massage therapist, said she started to feel symptoms the day before she was supposed to return to the United States. On her flight to New York City, she had a fever.
“And that was my first indication,” she said. “And then …by the time I got to the hotel, I was coughing up a green mucus and that immediately indicated that there was some type of respiratory infection, and I called the CDC then.”
But getting tested was difficult at that time.
“I think at the time it was, you know, such a new thing for the U.S.,” she said. “There [were] very few cases …”
Sheedy said she regrets flying on to Tampa when she was sick, exposing people to the virus. “But, I was cleared to fly back to Tampa, and when I got to Florida, I really pressed the Florida Health Department to test me as soon as possible.”
Although she became asymptomatic the last four or five days of her two-week quarantine, she knows the impact of the virus on different people is “very unpredictable.”
Young people may think they are less at risk during the pandemic, but Sheedy said it’s “very important” to protect more vulnerable people by practicing social distancing and following “isolation protocols and quarantine rules.”
“And, you know, that’s difficult for a lot of the younger generation,” she added.
Sheedy has fully recovered and been cleared by the state heallth department.