Nurse tested negative for Covid-19 three times despite symptoms

Nurse who twice needed hospital treatment for coronavirus casts doubt on the effectiveness of Covid-19 swabs after she tested negative THREE times

  • Nurse Nicole Williams was admitted to University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff
  • Ms Williams, from Caerphilly,  tested negative to Covid-19 three times 
  • A fourth test – three weeks after becoming symptomatic – picked up the virus 
  • Ms Williams pleaded with members of the public to respect the virus lockdown
  • Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID

A nurse who twice needed hospital treatment for Coronavirus has cast doubt on the effectiveness of Covid-19 swab tests after she had three which returned negative results.

Nicole Williams was admitted to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff where a CT scan revealed she does have the disease.

Her diagnosis was confirmed with a fourth swab test which gave a positive result – almost three weeks after she first experienced symptoms.

Nurse Nicole Williams, pictured, tested negative for Covid-19 three times despite having classic symptoms of the disease for more than three weeks

Ms Williams, pictured with her husband Paul, started feeling ‘run down’ 19 days ago before the symptoms increased in severity

Recounting her ordeal in a Facebook post, Nicole, from Caerphilly, south Wales, said: ‘The last 15 days have honestly been horrendous.

‘If you honestly think that having no underlying health conditions, being young, being fit, makes you exempt from coronavirus please, please think again.’

Nicole detailed how first felt ‘run down’ nineteen days ago, suffering a cough and a ‘mild sore throat’.

Three days later she underwent a swab test because of her work as a nurse.

‘Purely because of my job, so that I could continue to work, not because I felt ill,’ she explained.

The day after the test she woke with chest tightness and a persistent dry cough. She suffered wheezing and pain when breathing.

She said: ‘I have never suffered with my chest so for me this was completely out of the ordinary.’

A day later her condition deteriorated and she developed a high temperature – but her swab test results were returned negative.

‘I felt so poorly I phoned my GP,’ she explained. ‘She was unable to see me, as despite the negative result, I was displaying signs of COVID-19 and she explained there have been a number of false negative results.

‘I was seen in a Covid hub and after examination told it appeared I had a secondary pneumonia consistent to COVID-19.

‘I was given antibiotics just in case it was a bacterial infection rather than caused through coronavirus. These did not work.’

Ms Williams said she needed to  be admitted to hospital twice to battle the illness

Over the following two weeks up until yesterday, Ms Williams was admitted to hospital twice after friends and relatives grew concerned at her breathing difficulties.

She had two further swab tests while undergoing treatment for ‘pretty much all the symptoms of COVID-19’, which also gave a negative result, before undergoing a scan.

‘A CT scan proved that despite the negative swabs I have actually got COVID-19, with viral pneumonia on both lungs,’ she said.

‘Following the CT scan my 4th swab finally came back positive.’

Ms Williams said catching the virus has left her with asthma as well as lasting damage to her heart and lungs.

‘This virus is truly awful,’ she wrote. ‘I’m one of the lucky ones who is still sat here able to write this post. Others aren’t so lucky.

‘It’s not left me unscathed though, It’s triggered asthma as a side effect which will probably remain with me. I’m in pulmonary hypertension and have an enlarged pulmonary artery, so now have to be followed up by cardiology.’

She added: ‘Please follow government guidelines regarding social distancing and isolation.

‘My family have been through hell with worry, especially the last week! I’m finally starting to feel a bit more human now, but I’ve still got a way to go yet.’


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