Former coronavirus patients say they are still suffering from horrific symptoms months after beating the deadly disease.
Samantha Demmler tested positive to COVID-19 after returning to Melbourne from the U.S. with a ‘little tickle in her throat’ on March 20.
‘It didn’t seem I had this thing that was causing the whole world to stop,’ she previously told Daily Mail Australia.
‘I’m a pretty optimistic person but I started to panic. It definitely catches up to you. Your mind starts thinking and playing scenarios on what could happen.’
The 27-year-old musician was cleared by authorities on March 29, but four months later she is still fighting the lasting effects of the disease.
‘Since having the virus, my main lingering effects have been a build up of fluid in my lungs, decreased sense of smell and memory loss,’ she said in a Facebook update.
Ms Demmler’s case is not isolated, with many coronavirus survivors finding their recovery has stretched to well beyond the two-week incubation period thought to kill the disease.
Infectious disease experts still know very little about the long term effects of COVID-19, leaving many former patients in fear of copping a second wave of the disease.
Professor Peter Collignon from ANU told Herald Sun that with many infections a small percentage of patients normally suffer lasting effects, but that percentage is unknown for coronavirus.
‘You often see it takes many months for people to get back to normal even when, in medicine, we can’t find an abnormality,’ he said.
‘The bottom line is we don’t know the percentages but there will be some people who are left with underlying issues.’
Ms Demmler is a severe asthmatic and said it was scary not knowing the trajectory of the disease and her recovery process.
‘For us people that have had the virus it’s even more upsetting that we have no clarity if we can get the virus again and what are the effects going to be long term,’ she said.
Victoria’s horror second wave outbreak of coronavirus rolls on, with 459 new cases on Sunday and 10 more deaths in Australia’s deadliest day since the pandemic began.
There are 228 Victorians in hospital with 42 in the ICU, many of whom are fighting for life on ventilators.