MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 29-year-old St. Paul woman says she is one of Minnesota’s first cases of COVID-19. A candid video detailing her diagnosis has gone viral.

Jilla Nadimi wants to put a face to the statistics in hopes people heed the warnings.

The pain was unlike anything Jilla Nadimi had experienced before.

“It felt like my skin was on fire like someone was stabbing the marrow of my bones,” Nadimi said.

A healthy young woman once crowned winter carnival queen is now working in refugee camps around the world. After a 3-week trip to Uganda, Nadimi made a stop in New York to visit a friend on March 6. It’s where her doctors now believe she contracted COVID-19.

“We probably all got sick at the same time,” Nadimi said.

Her struggle for a diagnosis began a few days later. At first, her St. Paul clinic believed Nadimi’s fever and body pain was traced to her overseas travels.

“After talking to the doctor about my symptoms he was positive I did not have COVID-19. He actually came back into the room not wearing a hazmat suit,” Nadimi said.

But, a few days after swabbing Nadimi’s nose and mouth she says results confirmed she was Minnesota’s 22nd COVID-19 case.

Her 14-minute YouTube video details how her symptoms changed every few days.

“Day 7 through day 11 now this is where it gets really scary guys I had a dry cough, finally got that dry cough everyone is talking about, shortness of breath, tight chest,” Nadimi said.

She’s been staying six feet away from her boyfriend who is also quarantined in their home. Nadimi is feeling much better now. She hopes her story will keep people at home.

“History is going to be defined by how we act. Just do your part, really. You don’t want this,” she said.

Nadimi is also on the forefront of the pandemic professionally. To learn how you can help:

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Liz Collin

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