Locals with ‘long-haul COVID’ talk about experiences

Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 9:28 PM CST
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QUINCY/HANNIBAL (WGEM) - Even after recovering from the primary symptoms of COVID-19, many people, nationally and locally, are still dealing with lingering effects.

Researchers at Penn State University found that half of COVID survivors experience lingering symptoms six months after recovery.

Mary Blevins is one of them.

While she said she does not have fatigue and immunity issues like some people, she is still struggling to regain her sense of taste and smell.

“The first two days I still had my taste and smell, and then after that, it went away,” Blevins said. “I still can’t smell. My taste has come back about two weeks after having COVID, but I still can’t taste today.”

Blevins said when she drinks soda, it tastes like metal.

Dr. Imran Shaikh with Quincy Medical Group said patients suffering from the lingering effects of COVID can do some things to help cope.

“Definitely follow up with your primary care doctor,” he said. “Let them know of any symptoms you have after having COVID. Just make sure that they’re not getting worse. They shouldn’t necessarily be getting worse, they might linger but if you notice things getting worse, you should definitely go talk to your doctor about it.”

As far as the longer-term effects?

Scientists are still trying to figure that out.

Symptoms can sometimes last far longer than most people would expect.

McKayla Shepherd of Hannibal said she still struggles with fatigue and immunity issues a year after she recovered from COVID-19.

“I feel like I’ve gotten sick a lot more since I had COVID,” Shepherd said. “Like my immune system is worse than it was. Anytime anybody gets sick, I get sick. It’s like an ongoing sickness.”

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic said you should keep monitoring your symptoms with your doctor to make sure there aren’t more serious complications lying under the surface.

“Don’t try and go back to everything you were doing because it does take time. It does take time to recover. So make sure you are getting good sleep, make sure you’re eating properly, hydrating, managing all your other medical conditions. Use this as an opportunity to really optimize your health in general,” Dr. Shaikh said.

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