Long-term impact of COVID-19

Updated: Sep. 7, 2020 at 7:21 AM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A recent CDC report finds that a third of coronavirus patients who were not sick enough to be hospitalized are not feeling back to normal after weeks of contracting the virus.

3 on Your Side interviewed McComb Ward 3 Selectman Devante Johnson days after he battled COVID-19. At that time, he told us that it was a challenge. We reached back out to the 24-year-old to find out if he felt 100% better.

“Like, I’m just very tired. Then I have small headaches from time to time,” Johnson said. “I can tell that I’ve gone through changes. There are days I wake up and, you know, I just know it’s not the same.”

We also spoke to an Infectious Disease Specialist at Baptist Health Systems, Dr. Steve Threlkeld.

“I have had several colleagues who certainly had the infection and they tell me that they just don’t quite think straight and they have a hard time coming up with words or names. They feel a bit foggy and these are very sharp people that are very distressed by this,” Dr. Threlkeld said.

Dr. Threlkeld says there are a lot of unknowns about the virus and the damage it can do.

“This virus has only been with us for eight months now or nine at all. So, we don’t fully understand what it’s done. We do know that we’ve been surprised by some of the things: the tastes, the smell changes, some of the blood vessel problems in toes and fingers, heart rhythm and heart inflammation, and certainly the lung problems. There are things about it that we’re really only beginning to learn about.”

He says these issues may linger for months, which can be an uncomfortable and painful process.

“It is very difficult to do things if a lung gets scarring. It has significant damage to the lung. It takes time and sometimes you have to support things with oxygen. There are other things that might last a shorter time. The taste and smell changes frequently go away after about a month or so, even in people who had severe involvement.”

Dr. Threlkeld also points out that it is important to consult your doctor if you continue to deal with these health problems.

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