HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - An estimated 10 to 30 percent of people who get COVID-19 will experience lingering symptoms. They’ve been dubbed long-haulers.
Some of these people had only mild or even no symptoms during their initial infection, but they’ve lingered.
Micki Slife is one of those long-haulers who has dealt with severe fatigue and brain fog for months now. Slife says she was exposed to COVID on Christmas day and diagnosed just 5 days later. She says the long COVID symptoms were so bad she was stuck on the couch for days.
“I couldn’t walk through a grocery store. I would have to stop from the produce section to the bread. Which is right next to each other,” says Slife.
However, Slife found she wasn’t alone. She was so desperate to feel healthy again that she reached out to other long haulers to see what helped them with their symptoms.
“I started getting really frustrated as to why is this continuing, what is going on. So I started reaching out online on Facebook long-haulers groups,” says Slife.
She transitioned to a vegan and pescatarian diet and started taking supplements. But, she credits the vaccine for getting her close to feeling 100 percent again.
“After that first dose, I started to feel 80 to 90 percent better. My second dose was actually pretty easy. Just had a sore arm and a little bit of a fever. Now, I feel like 90 to 95 percent better,” says Slife.
Roger Smalligan, Regional Dean of UAB Huntsville Medical School Campus, says a study he reviewed says 40 percent of long haulers experience relief after getting a vaccine.
“They say up to 40 percent of those people who have gotten the vaccine have done a significant improvement of symptoms. They are very happy,” says Smalligan.
The cause of the persistent symptoms is still not well understood by health experts, and studies are ongoing to find a permanent solution.