Covid-19 symptoms lingering for months after being sick

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CHATTANOOGA, TENN (WDEF)-The Coronavirus has impacted many people throughout the Tennessee Valley-but some patients-the symptoms just aren’t going away.

“We’re discovering this disease does whatever it wants and it affects whoever it wants in an unpredictable manner,” says Minerva Covarrubia, Pulmonologist for Parkridge Hospital.

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In Early July, Greg Rakestraw was diagnosed with the Coronavirus.  Rakestraw says before the illness he was working out a lot, now-2 months later-he is still experiencing some of the same symptoms.

“ I am very weak. I haven’t been able to start working out again. When I push mow the yard; once I really over exert myself now, my recovery time takes like a day or 2. Before it took me maybe 15 to 20 minutes to recover. Every once in a while I’ll be sitting and just take a breath and I can still feel a catch in my lungs,” says Greg RakeStraw, Covid-19 Survivor. 

Pulmonologists at Parkridge hospital say the lingering effects of the Coronavirus can last longer in some patients-even longer than doctors first thought. 

“A few weeks is probably an underestimate. It’s more like months I have seen people still with symptoms roughly 3 months out from when they initially became ill,” says Covarrubia.

Health experts say the most common lingering symptoms are fatigue, shortness of breath and insomnia. 

It is not certain how long these effects can last and it varies among patients, but there are a few things survivors can do to help treat annoying symptoms. 

“With Fatigue and shortness of breath being the dominant complaint that I hear from patients, I find that regular aerobic exercise is really helpful for these patients. Also for example if they are having wheezing or persistent cough you can treat that with inhalers,” says Covarrubia.

If you are experiencing longer lasting symptoms, health officials encourage you to reach out to your doctor or health care provider.