James O'Brien: Why I think I've got coronavirus

1 April 2020, 12:58 | Updated: 7 June 2023, 08:56

James O'Brien: Why I think I've got coronavirus

By Adrian Sherling

James O'Brien revealed that he thinks he has got coronavirus - despite not having the symptoms mentioned by the government.

The LBC presenter has been feeling rough for a few days - and noticed on Saturday morning that he had lost his sense of taste and smell, something that had recently been mentioned as one of the best indicators of Covid-19.

He also had a shortage of breath and a complete lack of appetite. He's managed to get through his radio shows from home in self-isolation before going back to bed.

Without testing however, he will not know whether he has got the disease, but felt duty-bound to speak about his experiences to tell his listeners what they might expect if they get ill.

Speaking on his LBC show, he said: "The original descriptions focussed very strongly upon a dry cough and a shortness of breath.

"But more and more people I've been speaking to, including a few who have been tested for it and found to have had it, the experience is not confined to those two symptoms. And the most obvious entry point is a loss of the sense of taste and smell."

James O'Brien explained the symptoms of coronavirus that he has had
James O'Brien explained the symptoms of coronavirus that he has had. Picture: LBC

He started to feel bad last Thursday, when he woke up with what felt like a hangover, but without have had anything to drink.

But it wasn't until Saturday when he realised he couldn't smell anything that he realised what he had could well be Covid-19, when fatigue then took over and he felt shaky.

He wanted to reassure people he's ok, although the symptoms have come in waves. He said: "This morning, I think I've turned the corner. I'm still going to go straight back to bed after this.

"I feel a little less shaky and weak. I was not that ill - as you can tell by the fact I managed to host this show every morning. But it is very up and down and there have been a couple of false alarms in the last couple of days when I thought I had made more progress than I actually turned out to have done."

The reason he wanted to tell people about this is simple: "The probability that huge numbers of us have had it or got it, but it doesn't bear that much resemblance to the official symptoms list.

"And then you begin to read about all the people who may well have it and not even know.

"And if I was an NHS worker, I would have self-isolated as soon as I lost my sense of smell. But how much spreading of it might I have done prior to that symptom manifesting itself."

Listen to his full monologue at the top of the page.