Mid-Michigan COVID long haulers: Some symptoms have yet to go away

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 7:02 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - COVID-19 has a lasting impact on some much longer than the time they spend fighting the virus.

A new study shows that loss of taste and smell can last for months for some, with others never regaining their senses.

COVID-19 long hauler Matthew Langworthy said, “Unless it’s an intense smell, I don’t smell it correctly.”

Langworthy has been battling long-lasting COVID symptoms since June. And he hasn’t seen much improvement. He said he randomly will smell the scent of cigarette smoke and heavy chemicals but nothing else. He contracted the virus right before getting his vaccine.

“When I was in the hospital, the guy that was giving me the release papers said the fact that I got the first one before it fully hit is probably what kept me from having to stay,” Langworthy said.

Celeste Merillat contracted the virus in September and still has yet to recover her senses.

“It’s a big fear because my nose has stayed plugged too,” she said. “There’s nothing I can do from using saline flushes to allergy medicine to clear my nose. It’s a fear of mine that it’s never going to be normal again.”

She said losing her smell and taste isn’t the only symptom she has had post COVID.

“I still have headaches along with not being able to smell,” Merillat said. “So it’s a big fear this is going to be what’s normal for me.”

A new study estimates around one million Americans who had COVID either lost or had a change in their sense of smell. One doctor, Farhan Bhatti, told News 10 there is still work to be done to learn what exactly causes this to happen.

“Because of the inflammatory changes that happen inside of our body when we get sick from COVID, the damage from those changes can take some time whether it’s several weeks or several months for the body to correct and undo,” Bhatti said.

While he said it will take time to research the virus’s long-term effects, he said the best way to stay healthy is to get vaccinated.

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