99-year-old Washington man survives coronavirus with only mild symptoms

(Image Courtesy: KING 5)

MILL CREEK, Wash. (10 News) — More than half of those who've died from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are over the age of 80, according to the Washington State Department of Health's breakdown of ages on its website.

Yet, those above 80-years-old only represent 10% of the confirmed coronavirus cases, according to the health department. For people who are over 80 and their families, those are scary numbers.

Based on that, it’s remarkable that someone about to turn 100-years-old has managed to survive the illness with mild symptoms.

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Still, Ed Mueller of Mill Creek found himself hospitalized at Swedish Hospital for 14 days in March with coronavirus.

“I had the feeling something was wrong,” said his friend Margarita Andrijic of Lake Forest Park. She is also 99-years-old, and has tested negative for the disease, she said.

She said the first sign of a problem was on March 5 when she served Ed his favorite meal, a hamburger and french fries, and he couldn't taste it.

“I couldn’t, I couldn’t. It didn’t taste very good, just ordinary, taste and smell absent,” said Mueller. The temporary loss of taste and smell has been cited by many who have had COVID-19, and doctors say it can also be associated with colds.

Ed's temperature was elevated at 99 degrees, but mild, according to Andrijic. Nevertheless, she kept searching for answers. She took Ed to see a doctor associated with Swedish, which resulted in him being admitted to the hospital for 14 days.

A test for the disease came back positive for COVID-19.

“I was thankful I was there,” said Mueller. “I was always probably on the verge of it." Mueller said he was aware that he was potentially in trouble for something more serious. "Oh, absolutely, I was aware of that fact."

Mueller said he appreciated his treatment at Swedish and felt fine during his stay.

“I’ve been through so many things in my life, it really didn’t worry me," he said.