West Brom's Charlie Austin has spoken out on the seriousness of Covid-19 after testing positive

Charlie Austin believes he picked up the virus while attending Cheltenham Festival

Today it was announced that all pubs, clubs, restaurants, gyms and many more hubs for social gatherings in England will be closing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The news from Boris Johnson was to be expected after the rest of Europe enforced similar rulings, but it's still an eerie prospect.

So for the foreseeable, it's self-isolation to avoid spreading the deadly new coronavirus and it's something a number of footballers have been doing for a while now.

West Brom striker Charlie Austin was confirmed today to be the latest player in English football to have contracted the virus and the former Southampton man had some words of warning for the UK's younger generation.

Austin urged everyone to 'take this seriously' after stating that the virus caused his temperature to soar to to 39.7 degrees Celsius, while also experiencing cold sweats.

“I felt like someone had chucked a bucket of water over me,” he told the Telegraph, “I was soaking.

“Before I started feeling the symptoms on Saturday I was on the phone to my wife Bianca’s mother and I said to her that I hoped if anyone in our family got it that it would be me," he said. "I felt like I was fit and healthy and I could handle it.

"A week later and I would say to anyone, even those in their 20s and 30s – ‘Don’t take it lightly – it’s serious’. I get that people who haven’t got it are going about their lives. Last week, I was living my life. Not that I didn’t take coronavirus seriously. But this is extremely serious and we should take it that way.”

Austin has since made a recovery from the virus and he believes he may have picked it up while attending Cheltenham Festival last week as his initial symptoms began on Sunday and Monday.

Austin in action vs Newcastle

The West Brom striker was also critical of English football's response to the outbreak, stating that it was only the positive diagnosis of Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta that led to the cancellation of fixtures.

Austin added: “It almost took someone high up to get it for the game to think, ‘Oh actually, we need to stop'. If Mikel Arteta hadn’t tested positive, we would have played those fixtures [last weekend]. I would rather we looked back in three or four months’ time and thought we were over-cautious than look back thinking that we could have done more."

We strongly urge that you take Austin's words on board and stay safe out there.

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