Study sheds light on ‘long carriers’ battling long-term side effects after being diagnosed with COVID-19 – CBS New York


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – While some coronavirus survivors recover within weeks, some patients find themselves in a battle that apparently never ends.Forty-three-year-old Rachael Sunshine of Coxsackie, New York, is going through a dark period.

She recorded a video while in an upstairs New York hospital last week, saying, “I wish I wasn’t there. It really sucks.

She’s not battling COVID-19, but she’s battling the long-term side effects of the virus she had in April.

RELATED STORY: COVID-19 Support Groups A Lifeline for Survivors Suffering from Panic Attacks, Memory Loss, Other Persistent Symptoms

“I have COVID bumps, shortness of breath, fatigue, hair loss, brain fog, incredible pain, a cough that never goes away,” Sunshine told CBS2’s Cory James.

It is these symptoms that are also faced by thousands of people across the country.

This includes actress Alyssa Milano, who says she has been living with persistent symptoms for four months.

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It was me on April 2 after being sick for 2 weeks. I had never been so sick. Everything hurt. Loss of smell. I felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. I couldn’t breathe anymore. I couldn’t keep the food inside. I lost 9 pounds in 2 weeks. I was confused. Mild fever. And the headaches were horrible. I had basically all the symptoms of Covid. At the very end of March, I had two covid19 tests and both were negative. I also did a covid antibody test (the finger prick test) after I felt a little better. NEGATIVE. After living the past 4 months with persistent symptoms such as dizziness, stomach abnormalities, irregular periods, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, zero short-term memory, and general discomfort, I went for a antibody test from a blood sample (not the finger prick) from a lab. I am POSITIVE for covid antibodies. I had Covid19. I just want you to know that our testing system is broken and we don’t know the real numbers. I also want you to know that this disease is not a hoax. I thought I was dying. I felt like I was dying. I will donate my plasma in the hopes of saving a life. Please take care of yourself. Please wash your hands and wear a mask and social distancing. I don’t want anyone to feel what I was feeling. Be well. I love you all (well, maybe not the trolls. Just the nice people.) ❤️

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Medical experts call people with this problem “long haul,” and Judy Dodd, a resident of Hell’s Kitchen, is one of them.

“It’s the tiredness. I’m still very tired, ”she says.


Dr. Natalie Lambert of Indiana University School of Medicine helped conduct a long-haul study and interviewed over 1,500 people speaking on a Facebook group called “Survivor Corps.”

Of the 98 symptoms detailed in the study, such as cough, fever, and body aches, Lambert describes one that kept coming back.

“Difficulty concentrating and memory problems, and you can imagine how that affects their ability to work or function,” she says.

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CBS2’s Dr Max Gomez says people who are long-acting carriers can still be tested negatively.

“It doesn’t mean that the virus is still there, but it has damaged your system,” he said. “And that’s what takes time to get over it.”

The CDC reports that a third of patients do not return to their usual state of health for at least three weeks after diagnosis.


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