Covid-19 ‘Long-Hauler’ spends months getting back on his feet
e a large portion of those who catch the coronavirus only suffer the symptoms for about two weeks... a new JAMA study shows that 25-30% of people have experienced long-term symptoms.
WINONA, Minn. (WKBT) – While a large portion of those who catch the coronavirus only suffer the symptoms for about two weeks… a new JAMA study shows that 25-30% of people have experienced long-term symptoms.
A long hauler.
“Back in July, end of July. I went and took the test. It came back that I was positive for Covid,” said Chris Dellinger.
The new term describes those who experience long lasting symptoms of COVID-19.
Chris Dellinger is part of this group. He caught Covid-19 back in July. As a non-smoker, overall healthy 50-year-old man, his symptoms started off normal. But very quickly, everything went south.
“All of a sudden, the breathing issues started,” said Dellinger.
Due to his extreme difficulty breathing and lack of oxygen, he was airlifted from Winona Health to Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
“I was in the ICU for about two months, and in the regular hospital room for about a month. They told my family to prepare for the worst, they didn’t think I was going to make it,” said Dellinger.
He defied the odds, and miraculously started making a recovery.
He was allowed to return home from the hospital in October but his struggle with Covid-19 was not over.
“Patients can be short of breath for months following their initial Covid infection,” said Mayo Clinic Rochester Nurse Practitioner Annie Johnson.
Dellinger was still out of breath after basic tasks, and had to continue using oxygen to get him through the days.
“Four steps forward, and four back because I’m actually moving, but it would take everything out of me,” said Dellinger.
“Some need extra oxygen requirements that they never had before, so that’s one of the most common difficulties that we are noticing in our patients, post Covid,” said Johnson.
But the good news, after almost 6 months since his release from the hospital he’s making progress.
“I checked my steps, and when I got home, I was over 11,000. So going from 8 steps in the ICU to 11,000, it’s a great difference,” said Dellinger.
Dellinger has since returned to work part time, and is expecting to reach an almost full recovery by May.
Johnson says that fatigue, loss of taste and smell and brain fog tend to be the most common Covid-19 long hauler symptoms.
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