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Post-COVID conditions can last months after defeating virus, doctors say

And it's one reason health experts say widespread vaccination is vital to ending the pandemic.

SAN ANTONIO — Statistics say at least 10% of people who test positive for the coronavirus will develop what doctors call post-COVID conditions. 

“It changes some peoples' quality of life,” said Dr. Monica Verduzco-Gutierrez, director of the Post-COVID Recovery Clinic at University Hospital and UT Health.

The conditions refer to those symptoms people continue to experience after they test negative for the coronavirus, ending their battle. 

Verduzco-Gutierrez says, in some cases, those symptoms can last three to six months after someone tests negative.

“I have patients who are marathon runners who can’t even walk down the street anymore. That’s one way we’re seeing it effect people," she said. "I have patients who are getting bald spots. Some patients that now have asthma."

Those are just a few of the symptoms she’s seeing in patients.

“There’s already data and studies that have come out of the UK that says if you’re vaccinated, you’ll be 50% less likely to get long-COVID,” Verduzco-Gutierrez said.

Now that the focus has switched to getting kids vaccinated. Verduzco-Gutierrez says the numbers show 10% of kids who potentially get infected could develop long-haul COVID-19 symptoms.

“Kids may not be able to get vaccinated yet and they’re working on that, but guess who can? Their families, the people around them can, the ones who are of age can," she said. "They can wear masks when they are out in public."

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