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Long-haul COVID patients feeling symptoms for months

Published: Jul. 15, 2020 at 9:31 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - For months we’ve heard about the symptoms of Coronavirus, and it turns out the after-effects can linger for months.

Carson, Iowa resident Jakie Akers tested positive for COVID 70 days ago, and the effect hasn’t gone away.

“It’s been very odd symptoms. They hit me one day I wake up and I feel okay and throughout the day it hits me and I never know day to day what my symptoms will be,” Akers said.

Akers is a wife, mother, educator and now also holds the title of long-haul COVID patient.

“[I have] debilitating migraines, it feels like lightning strikes it’s just terrible,” Akers said.

Aker’s doctor diagnosed her with viral meningitis brought on by COVID as well as inflammation around her heart.

“Which is the reason why I have the elevated heart rate there’s just a lot of inflammation around there,” Akers said.

It turns out, COVID survivors continuing to suffer isn’t uncommon.

“The majority of folks continue to have fatigue, muscle aches..just feeling poorly for months,” Dr. Mark Rupp, Chief of Infectious Disease at Nebraska Medicine said.

Rupp said in more severe cases, patients can develop life-threatening blood clots.

“We really don’t know how long this will last with COVID 19 because it’s a new infection for us so we’ve really only had six months of experience,” Rupp said.

Akers’s doctor has her on prednisone, a beta-blocker, and migraine medication. She’s expected to overcome her symptoms, eventually.

“It’s just hanging on for so long it just doesn’t seem like there is an end in sight. Every day I wake up thinking what symptoms am I going to deal with today,” Aker’s said.

The hardest part for Akers is not being believed when she tells someone that her invisible illness is real. She says her comfort has come from online support groups.

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