NewsPolk County


COVID-19 survivor experiences lingering health effects from the virus

A clinic in Lakeland is treating patients
Jennifer Treat
Posted at 9:24 PM, Apr 08, 2021

A COVID-19 survivor continues to suffer from lingering health effects after contracting COVID-19 about four months ago.

Jennifer Treat lives in Jacksonville. She has follow-up appointments at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville.

She tested positive for the virus the day after Christmas. She said she had a mild case of COVID-19 and was never hospitalized.

"Two weeks was really bad. I don't remember a whole lot from the two weeks. I attempted to go back to work after two weeks and that failed miserably," said Jennifer Treat.

RELATED: Patients, medical community focus on long-term impacts of COVID-19

Treat said she suffers from brain fog, fever and fatigue.

"I still have a daily fever. I ache. I hurt," said Treat.

"You get tired walking through the grocery store even though it's something you know you have to do. It's the little things, you just realize I wasn't like this before COVID. I could do all of this before COVID," said Treat.

Some COVID-19 survivors who suffer from lingering health issues say they are finding relief from getting the vaccine.

Survivor Corps, a group for COVID-19 survivors, surveyed nearly 900 members and found 41% reported slight relief to full recovery shortly after getting vaccinated.

Dr. Kathleen Haggerty with the Watson Clinic in Lakeland did not treat Jennifer, but treats other patients who suffer from the long-term effects of COVID-19.

The clinic opened in September.

"So far I have not seen anybody who had reported to me that they felt miraculously better once they got the vaccine, unfortunately, but I'm waiting, but I'm hoping to see that person," said Dr. Haggerty.

Dr. Haggerty said she sees elderly patients and young ones too.

"You might think all the patients are older, they're not. Many of my patients are in their 20s. The average age I would say is about 40," said Dr. Haggerty.

Dr. Haggerty said patients experience fatigue, shortness of breath, cough, chest pain, and headaches.

"If you're a young person and you think if I get it, it's just going to be mild. It might be mild in the beginning, but you might lose months of work by being ill from post COVID symptoms. It's very tragic to see people who need to get back to work, but just can't do it."

She encourages everyone to get the vaccine.

"I definitely think people should wear masks, wash your hands, socially distance and do all those other things the CDC has recommended. They work," she added.

Dr. Haggerty said she has appointments into September, but she is accepting new patients.

"We want to make ourselves available as much as possible and I look forward to new practitioners in this area so more people can be seen for these very difficult symptoms."