Some COVID-19 survivors still have symptoms months after contracting virus, doctors don't know why

Most people with COVID-19 recover after two weeks but some have been struggling with this virus for months and they say doctors don’t know what to make of it.

"I was previously a marathon runner in extremely good health, now it’s really hard for me to take a 10 min walk without getting shortness of breath and exhaustion,” said Jennifer English.  

She is a member of a growing number of COVID-19 survivors who continue to have symptoms months after contracting the virus and no longer testing positive.  

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They call themselves "the long-haulers." 

Nearly 80,000 people have signed up on the Facebook Page, Survivor Corps.

The symptoms they describe range from headaches to fatigue to hair loss. These patients say they are frustrated because most doctors are dismissive.

"They all told me I was having an anxiety attack and it would just be fine, that I needed to go home and take a nap,” English said.

Dr. S. Thomas Yadegar, a Pulmonary Critical Care Physician & Medical Director of the Intensive Care Unit at Providence Cedars Sinai Tarzana Medical Center said while the symptoms are unfortunate, they are not uncommon.

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"I think a lot of the symptoms that people are complaining about, the fatigue, the cough we see, those are common even after influenza,” he said. 

His advice to "the long-haulers" is to find a doctor who is willing to listen to them and work with them. 

For the people struggling with post-COVID-19 symptoms, a support group has made all the difference. Rachel Sunshine said, "It makes me feel so good to not feel alone anymore.”