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Montreal couple who both caught COVID-19 having very different experiences

Click to play video: 'West Island woman who tested positive for COVID-19 has a message for others'
West Island woman who tested positive for COVID-19 has a message for others
WATCH: A West Island woman who tested positive for COVID-19 is now on the mend, but as Global’s Dan Spector reports, she and her boyfriend have a warning for others. – Apr 1, 2020

Melanie Fournier, a 42-year-old Dollard-des-Ormeaux resident, feels she is nearing the end of her battle with COVID-19.

“Actually, I’m feeling much better. I’m feeling like I can breathe better,” she said Wednesday.

Fournier has been battling the virus for a week and a half now. Just last Friday, Fournier told Global News she was thinking about going to the hospital because she was having so much trouble breathing.

“I’m quite amazed how good I feel right now, actually,” she said.

Meanwhile, her significant other, who lives in Lasalle, also has COVID-19. They’re not sure who got it first.

“I’ve stayed quarantined with my kids. Today would be day 12,” Allan Drakes said.

READ MORE: West Island woman with COVID-19 recounts her harrowing experience

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Fournier has struggled to breathe, battled high fevers and says she still coughs in the morning and at night. Meanwhile, in isolation at his Lasalle home, Drakes said he feels fine.

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“I feel regular. I have no symptoms at all,” Drakes said.

“He tested positive, he’s showing no symptoms, and I was literally in my bed for almost 10 days that I couldn’t move,” Fournier told Global News.

The only thing that prompted him to go get tested at Place des Festivales was how he lost his ability to smell and taste.

“Last Saturday, I woke up and had no taste and no sense of smell. Everything tasted and smelled like paper,” he explained.

His results came back positive within 24 hours. That fact that he has no symptoms scares both of them. They wonder how many people are out in the community with no idea they have the virus.

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READ MORE: Quebec focuses on protecting seniors, limits regional travel as coronavirus deaths top 33

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“I could’ve given this to my mother, to my grandmother, and they may not have been as lucky as I am,” said Drakes.

“You could be that person spreading it to other people and not know. It’s very very possible,” said Fournier.

In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a study on Wednesday saying people transmitting the virus without symptoms “might pose challenges for disease control.”

With a backlog in testing in Quebec, and testing priority being given to hospitalized patients and health-care workers, for now there are no plans to test people who don’t have symptoms.

“This backlog is going down and down and the activities are going to begin again, perhaps with new priorities based on epidemiology,” said Quebec Public Health Director Horacio Arruda.

In an email to Global News, University of Montreal public health doctor Nathalie Auger said: “the most important thing that Montrealers can do at this critical point to help authorities and healthcare workers is to stay home.

“This becomes all the more important considering the possibility of pre-symptomatic spread.”

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