TORONTO – Although the majority of Canadians who contract COVID-19 survive, some do not fully recover and end up with persistent symptoms that can potentially last for months.
Ruth Castellanos of Troy, Ont. contracted a suspected case of COVID-19 in mid-May 2020 during the first wave of the pandemic. After testing for the virus, her results came back negative, but she was later clinically diagnosed with post-viral syndrome.
More than seven months later, his health is still suffering.
“It can change your life. I don’t wish that on anyone, ”Castellanos told CTV News Channel on Saturday.
Castellanos said she developed an unnerving tremor in her hands and found it difficult to focus months after testing negative for the disease. She is no longer able to work as a college instructor.
“Mornings are really hard to be able to get up,” she says.
She said she was also diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, a condition characterized by too little blood returning to the heart when changing from lying down to standing. She treats the disease with intravenous therapy.
“Every day I have to choose what I am going to have to do in terms of tasks, because I am unable to do what I would do before,” she says.
More than three-quarters of COVID-19 patients sent to hospital showed at least one symptom of the virus six months after becoming ill, according to a recent study in China.
The study found that among the 1,733 COVID-19 patients who were released from Jin Yin-tan Hospital, 76% of them continued to have at least one of the symptoms six months later.
Castellanos said she is currently seeing up to 10 doctors, including naturopaths, cardiologists and neurologists.
“It exhausts my body and my emotional self as well,” she said.
She wants all Canadians to appreciate not only the severity of the virus, but also the long-term consequences that the disease can have.
“If you catch that, it probably won’t be a two-week illness. You can have long-term effects from COVID-19 eight months after recovering from the acute phase, ”she says
Castellanos hopes his story will remind people of the seriousness of the virus and the risks it poses to Canadians.
“Follow the protocols. Follow the guidelines because no one wants to be where I am and thousands of us in Canada, ”she said.
She said as soon as she becomes eligible, she will line up to get the vaccine.
“Anything I can do to not have it again, I will,” she said.
More than 652,000 Canadians have been infected with COVID-19 and 16,833 have died. Another 552,000 have recovered from the disease, while more than 82,000 cases are considered active.