A 36-year-old nurse described as “normally fit and healthy” is critically ill in intensive care after contracting coronavirus.
Areema Nasreen is on a ventilator at Walsall Manor hospital in the West Midlands where she has worked for 16 years.
Her family say Nasreen, who has three children, and lives in Walsall, has no underlying health issues and 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, who works as a healthcare assistant at the same hospital, 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.
A unnamed doctor at the hospital told Sky News that his colleague’s condition had “deteriorated very quickly” in the space of 24 hours.
Nasreen, whose husband and three 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.
She has been working at Walsall Manor hospital since 2003, working in housekeeping and as a healthcare assistant before studying to become a nurse.
In the UK, 5,745 people have tested positive for Covid-19, while 282 people have died of the respiratory illness.
Last week, the government said it was investigating a rise in coronavirus deaths in the West Midlands, while Birmingham MP Khalid Mahmood suggested religious convictions and fears of social isolation were linked to the increase.