AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) — A Texas woman has been in isolation for 105 days after testing positive for COVID-19 in March. On average, recovery time for the virus can take a few weeks depending on the severity of the symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
However, the story is very different for Jenny Lorraine, of Austin, who said she tested positive after having heart surgery earlier this year. She’s been working with her doctor as she is still dealing with symptoms related to the virus. “I felt like I was coming down with the flu and two days later I felt like I was run over by a truck,” Lorraine said.
After a month, Lorraine said she started regaining strength, but the symptoms never fully went away. “I’m on day 90 today and I still have fever. I just took my temperature, my ears are ringing right now, my back hurts so bad, like a fiery pain,” Lorraine said. During telemedicine calls with her doctor, Lorraine was told she was still contagious and had to stay in isolation.
Her two toddlers are now presumed COVID-19 positive after seeing their doctor. Lorraine’s family remains in isolation. The typical recovery time for a person is about two weeks. If it lasts for several months, some experts say there might be underlying issues.
“If somebody is experiencing something that’s outside of what I consider the norm for this infection, it would be important for that person to make sure there aren’t other things going on,” said Dr. Manish Naik, of Austin Regional Clinic.
Dr. Naik did not treat Lorraine.
He says a certain percentage of people can develop more serious symptoms and get pneumonia. The symptoms and recovery time vary depending on the person’s health and age.
“A smaller percentage of people develop issues with low oxygen and they may end up in the hospital from COVID-19. Those folks can continue to have high levels of the virus in their blood because they are more severely ill and the virus is basically replicating unchecked, so those people can be sick longer,” said Dr. Naik.
The CDC’s guidance says people with symptoms can be with others again once they’ve gone three days without a fever and had their respiratory symptoms improve, as long as it’s been 10 days since symptoms first appeared.
Lorraine hasn’t met that criteria.