More adults suffering from long-COVID, according to CDC report

Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 10:48 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. - More and more people are getting long-term health problems from COVID. That’s according to the latest CDC report showing one in five adults 18 to 64 have a health condition that might be from having COVID, and that’s one in four for those 65 and older.

“I’m doing substantially better than I was a year ago or even six months ago but still have residual symptoms such as brain fog, fatigue, intermittent temperatures,” Chelsea Alionar, who FOX 12 first spoke with in 2020, said.

Alionar is now back to working full-time, remotely, and has gotten back to some of the things she loves like hiking and paddle boarding, even though they’re still difficult for her to do.

“The fatigue is just like a blanket of weight on me all the time,” she said.

Juli Fisher is in the same boat. She got COVID while working as a traveling nurse in April 2020 in Connecticut. She stayed in a hotel for six weeks, made multiple trips to the hospital, until she was finally able to come home.

“Once I tested negative, workers comp was like, ‘OK you’re all better, you can go back to work,’ and they stopped paying me but I never got better,” Fisher said.

Two years later, and after trying every therapy she can think of, she still has symptoms.

“I still haven’t gone back to work. I’ve gained over 100 pounds just because of the inactivity. I can do activity for about 4 minutes and then my low back just starts spasming really bad, and I get out of breath really fast. I still use oxygen at night,” she said.

She’s also getting testing through OHSU’s long COVID-19 program, which has cared for 750 patients since it started in March of last year.

Kaiser’s had more than 600 referrals at its long-haul clinic, and Providence has seen 500 patients, ranging from kids to people in their 90′s.

“It is not at all surprising to me,” Alionar said. “I think any long COVID survivor knew that this was coming. We predicted it almost from the beginning and I am extremely heartened by anyone else who has to suffer from this.”

“I’m just hoping and praying that eventually I’ll start feeling better,” Fisher said.