‘I’m tired all the time’: Some patients dealing with effects from COVID-19 months later

VIDEO: ‘I’m tired all the time’: Some patients dealing with effects from COVID-19 months later

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Local doctors are sounding the alarm over an increase of patients dealing with what they’re calling “post-acute COVID syndrome,” people who have issues from the coronavirus long after they are no longer contagious or have tested positive.

Research is showing about 10% of people who have COVID-19 will have lasting issues.

Grace Sargeant has been dealing with the effects of COVID-19 for nearly two months now, after contracting COVID-19 in September.

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“To tell you the truth, I thought I was over it,” Sargeant said. “Somebody came into my son’s house to do some repair work, and that’s where we think I got it.”

Since then, her taste and smell have returned and she’s tested negative, but she’s still coughing, deals with headaches, has little appetite and is on oxygen.

“I’m tired all the time,” she said. “I could take three naps a day.”

Sargeant’s physician, Dr. Aftab Khan, said he’s seeing an increase of this in his patients.

“It is kind of a mystery for all of us what is happening,” he said. “These patients did not have moderate or severe illnesses.”

Khan said if someone has COVID-19 symptoms beyond three weeks, it’s called post-acute COVID syndrome.” But longer than three months, it’s considered chronic COVID and are being called “long-haulers.”

“Patients feel like they have a memory lapse, they feel like they have some kind of a brain fog, they are disconnected, they feel cloudiness in their brain,” Khan said.

The cause is still unknown.

Khan said some researchers believe it could be from the immune system going into overdrive.

He said it’s causing a high level of anxiety and depression in his patients. He suggests anyone at home who may be dealing with this to speak with their own doctors about treatment options.

Khan told Eyewitness News that some of his patients do recover about four to six weeks, but others still have problems three months later.