A doctor from Manhattan Beach who is recovering from the novel coronavirus is sharing his first-hand experience with the illness.
Dr. George Fallieras said he believes he was exposed to COVID-19 during a ski trip to Colorado in early-March. He had no known exposure prior while working at Good Samaritan Hospital in Westlake.
Four days later, the 45-year-old physician said he began feeling ill, although the symptoms were not the commonly reported ones associated with the virus.
"A crushing fatigue and exhaustion... muscle aches, body aches, primarily my back," he said. "I was chilled and I had a mild headache. I felt really fuzzy in the brain."
He also described a lesser-known symptom that he said requires more research: testicular discomfort and potential reproductive issues. While the symptom has not been formally recognized by federal officials, Fallieras said similar issues had been noted in case studies out of China.
But the doctor did not display the "triad" of symptoms that have become associated with COVID-19 infection, which are a fever, cough and shortness of breath.
Fortunately, a colleague and friend who specializes in infectious disease had access to coronavirus tests and determined that as a doctor needing to return to work, a test was appropriate for Fallieras, he said.
Fallieras said he has been isolating himself at home since learning of the diagnoses.
"By all accounts, I've had a minor case, thank goodness," he said. He likened his experience with the illness to "a moderate, persistent flu."
Fallieras said he's been receiving many questions about COVID-19 and has seen reactions that range from utter panic to dismissive.
"A healthy place to be is firmly planted in between the peaks of those two extremes, with a healthy, respectful humility of the potential of this thing, but certainly not to be paralyzed in fear or panic. That's not healthy for us," he said.