Donald Trump has declared a state of emergency and the death toll from coronavirus has exceeded 5,000.

With UK set to stop mass gatherings and the Premier League season already suspended, coronavirus is the word on everyone's lips

There are 68,999 active cases with 5,990 of these reported to be in a serious or critical condition – and 63,009 in a mild condition. The total death toll today sits at 5,416.

As fears over the coronavirus pandemic spread, there’s one question that comes up again and again – how bad is it really?

The severity of symptoms can vary dramatically, from a mild sniffle to a hellish feeling of suffocation.

Here eight people from around the world tell the Mirror what it really feels like to have the virus that is sweeping the globe…

Carl Goldman, 67

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Carl Goldman, from Santa Clarita in California, was on the Diamond Princess cruise ship and later tested positive for coronavirus. He said the virus “hasn’t been that bad”.

He developed a fever and “a bit of a cough” during his flight back to America and was quarantined on his return.

He said: “The sickest I’ve ever been was when I had bronchitis several years ago. This has been much easier – no chills, no body aches. I breathe easily and I don’t have a stuffy nose.

“My chest feels tight and I have coughing spells. If I were at home with similar symptoms, I probably would have gone to work as usual.”

After having the illness for one month, Carl now has no symptoms, but is still testing positive.

He said: “I have to be tested three days in a row of being negative in order to be released. I will not have this virus for ever. I am just a slow shredder.”

Jaimuay Sae-ung, 73

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Jaimuay Sae-ung was the first Thai national to contract coronavirus, becoming ill in December.

She experienced a fever and a bad cough, then developed pneumonia while in quarantine.

Jaimuay said: “I only knew (I had coronavirus) after I came to the hospital. I felt a bit sad, a bit shocked, tired and fatigued and I couldn’t eat.”

After 10 days, Jaimuay’s condition had improved and she was eventually discharged following two negative test results.

Connor Reed, 25

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Connor Reed, originally from Llandudno, North Wales, had been teaching English in Wuhan, China when he began to experience “just a sniffle” on November 25.

Seven days later he began to feel much worse. In a diary, Connor, 25, wrote: “This is no longer just a cold. I ache all over, my head is thumping, my throat is constricted.

Two days later his breathing had become “laboured”, and said that going to the loo “leaves me panting”.

By December 6, he felt like he was “suffocating”.

He got a taxi to Zhongnan University Hospital as he knew there would be British doctors. He was tested and given antibiotics.

By Day 21 he ached “as if I’ve been run over by a steamroller”. He wrote: “My eardrums feel ready to pop.”

But, by Day 24 – just before Christmas – he was better.

Liz Schnedier, 37

Liz caught coronavirus after attending a house party in Seattle where no one was coughing or sneezing but 40% of guests became sick within the next three days.

In an Instagram post on Monday, she described her symptoms: “Headache, fever, severe body aches and joint pain, and severe fatigue.

“I had a fever that spiked the first night to 103 degrees and eventually came down to 100. I felt nauseous one day. Once the fever is gone some were left with nasal congestion, sore throat. Total duration of illness was 10-16 days.

“I was not hospitalised. I didn’t even go to the doctor because I was recovering on my own and felt it was just a nasty flu strain different from the ones I have been protected from with this season’s flu vaccine.”

Bridget Wilkins, 29

Bridget flew to Australia via Singapore for a friend’s wedding last week.

She is now quarantined in a hospital in Brisbane after testing positive for Covid-19.

She had suffered a headache, a sore throat and fatigue – all of which were symptoms she mistook for jetlag.

Bridget, from London, said: “I think we have to calm down, because for most people, like myself, it is just a long cold that we can shake off.”

David and Sally Abel, 73

David and Sally Abel were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary when they contracted Covid-19 on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, quarantined in Japan.

David, from Woodford Halse in Northamptonshire, said: “Outside the hospital I came over a bit weird and nearly passed out. Every pore on my body opened and I was wheelchaired to our room.”

They were both later diagnosed with pneumonia as well as coronavirus.

Sally has since been given the all clear. But David tested negative twice and positive once, so he cannot leave yet.

Andrew O’Dwyer

Andrew O’Dwyer claims to have suffered more with flu than he has after being diagnosed with coronavirus.

The father-of-one caught Covid-19 after a ski trip in Italy last month and he said that despite having type 1 diabetes, the virus “isn’t anything to worry about for me personally”.

The cough he developed was “quite debilitating” and he has had a high temperature.

Marc Thibault, 48

Teacher Marc, from Rhode Island, in the US, led a school field trip to Italy, France and Spain last month and was admitted to hospital on February 27, five days after he returned home.

A week later he was diagnosed with coronavirus.

He said the illness had hit him “like a hurricane”.

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Marc, a school vice principal, said: “You feel like you’re asphyxiating, and you’re panicking because you can’t breathe.

He added that he felt “one inch from death” and remains in intensive care.

He had been under the weather before the trip, but when the group returned on February 22 he felt run down and had stayed off work.

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