Coronavirus shock: Greta Thunberg in ISOLATION after claiming to have COVID-19

The young climate change campaigner said she believed they caught the virus, whilst travelling by train through Europe, before governments across the continent imposed their lockdowns. On returning to Sweden, she and her actor father decided as a precaution to self-isolate for two weeks. During that period, they both began to come down with the symptoms of COVID-19.

Ms Thunberg said in an Instagram post on Tuesday that she developed mild symptoms, that included a sore throat, a cough and tiredness, before declaring that she had fully recovered.

However, her father suffered a more intense reaction from the virus, that induced a high fever.

Ms Thunberg could not say for sure that she had the virus, as only people admitted to hospital were given a test.

But she insisted that both her and her father’s symptoms were exactly the same as described by medical experts.

In a video published by the New Scientist, the 17-year-old environmental activist said: “For the last two weeks I have been isolated and then I got the virus.

“I came home from central Europe and then I isolated myself from the beginning, because I thought I might as well as I’ve been on trains…and so I don’t want to put anyone else at risk.

“But then I started feeling some symptoms after a few days. But the important thing is that I didn’t basically feel that ill.

“At the same time my father was feeling much more intense symptoms.”

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She added that she wanted to raise awareness about how easy it was to transmit the infection without realising.

The teenage campaigner explained: “I didn’t basically feel that I was ill. It could be that I was feeling unusually tired, I was coughing a bit.

“That is because I’m not in a risk group, I didn’t get it very seriously. That also is very dangerous because you don’t know you have it.

“If I wouldn’t have been for my father getting it at the same time and much more intense than me, I might not even have noticed it that I was sick.

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“Many people don’t feel symptoms at all, or very mild symptoms, but it can be contagious.

“That is something I want to communicate, that many people don’t feel symptoms at all, or very mild symptoms, but it can still be contagious.

“So you have to really practice social distancing whether you feel ill or not.”

Ms Thunberg’s remarks come as new scientific data from China shows that the number of people infected with the coronavirus but who show no or delayed symptoms is much higher than first thought.

According to classified Chinese government statistics seen by the South China Morning Post, as many as one third of those who test positive for COVID-19 are “silent carriers”.

At the end of February, China quarantined 43,000 people who had tested positive for the deadly virus, but who showed no outward signs of infection.

The number was not included in official figures, which at the time stood at 80,000.

The discovery has huge implications for the strategies employed by countries in their fight to contain the pandemic.

Increasingly, scientists believe that those showing no symptoms of the disease are still capable of transmitting the virus to others.

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