According to the World Health Organization (WHO), patients with Covid-19 typically recover from the disease in about two weeks’ time, but there are a number of patients who have had Covid-19 for months—and experts aren’t entirely sure why they can’t shake the disease.What we know (so far) about the long-term health effects of Covid-19 Meet the Covid-19 ‘long-haulers’The Atlantic reports that some patients in online Covid-19 support groups are reporting that they’ve been experiencing symptoms of the disease for one to three months—and some have even begun calling themselves Covid-19 “long-haulers” or “long-termers.”
Cara Schiavo, a 31-year-old woman living in New Jersey, had a fever, chest pain, and shortness of breath, and she tested positive for the new coronavirus on March 10. Four weeks after testing positive for the virus, her symptoms began to subside.
“I felt like I was getting back to my old self,” she said. “I started walking, exercising, and even told family and friends [I’d] recovered.”
But her symptoms returned one week later, and she also began experiencing dermatological and gastrointestinal symptoms associated with Covid-19. Schiavo said she sought care for the returning and new symptoms, but her doctor told her they likely were due to anxiety.
Angela Aston, a 49-year-old RN in Texas who contracted the new coronavirus in late March while treating a patient with Covid-19, had returned to work on April 23 after she was free of a fever for 72 hours. However, toward the end of her shift, she felt “shaky and weak,” Aston said. The next day, Aston again had a fever and shortness of breath. “I was confused [and] anxious,” she said.
Aston’s been retested for the new coronavirus three times, and received one negative result—followed by two positive results. She said she hasn’t returned to work since she began feeling symptoms again in late April because her doctors are unsure of whether she’s still infectious.”The [CDC’s] return-to-work guidelines say three days no fever, but those guidelines are not appropriate for me,” Aston said. “People freak out if a person with recent Covid-19 has an elevated temperature and wants to be around them. Even if it has been 10 days with no fever.”