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Some patients experience chronic fatigue after fighting off COVID-19

Published: Aug. 20, 2020 at 2:53 PM EDT
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(CNN) – As doctors and researchers continue to learn more about the long-term effects of COVID-19 on those who’ve recovered, they’re finding that not only can lung issues persist, but so can extreme fatigue.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 35% of the people in a monitored group recovering from the coronavirus reported they were continually dealing with fatigue.

“Still short of breath, coughing … just the fatigue and dizziness and headaches, almost daily,” said Debi Patterson, who was hospitalized with COVID-19. “It’s almost like somebody hit you in the head.”

Less than a year into the pandemic, experts admit they are still learning about the effects of the virus, both physically and mentally.

“This virus, when first advertised, when we first heard about it coming out of Wuhan in China, we were very much focused on this as a respiratory illness .... now we recognize that it’s far more complex than that,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, professor and dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.

U.S. researchers plan to study more COVID-19 patients to determine whether there is a link between the virus and chronic conditions like myalgic encephalomyelitis, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome.

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