TAMPA, Fla. -- A Tampa woman who recovered from COVID-19 is warning others to take the virus seriously.
Jenny Castro said she went out with her sister and brother-in-law last month. They were celebrating his birthday.
She said about two days later she had a sore throat.
"I did not think it was coronavirus. I did not think it was a cold. Two years ago, I had tonsillitis so I thought maybe I had that again," said Castro.
Castro said she tested positive for COVID-19. She had pneumonia and was hospitalized.
"When I went to the hospital, I had a fever of 104 [degrees] so I was being treated for that. I was having trouble breathing so I was given oxygen. I was also dehydrated so I was given fluids," said Castro.
She said she has never felt so sick. She spent more than two weeks in bed.
"I could not breathe. I was having trouble breathing. I was having attacks. When I say attacks, I was coughing and could not stop," she said.
She said before she got sick, she figured coronavirus only significantly impacted the elderly or people with underlying issues. She urges people to be cautious and practice social distancing.
"I have a mother who suffered from cancer and has many health issues. I would not want her to get this because -- me being healthy and how it affected me at the level it did -- I couldn't even imagine how it would affect her and so many of our parents or grandparents," said Castro.
Castro said she has recently tested negative for the virus. She said this experience was humbling. She encourages people to look out for one another.
"When your health is compromised, that's something that I can't even put into words. I feel like a life without health isn't a life at all and now I'm thankful for my health now, very thankful," she said.
"With everything going on, I feel like we need to be more empathetic towards others," said Castro.