Milwaukee man experiencing long COVID says symptoms remain more than a year later

NOW: Milwaukee man experiencing long COVID says symptoms remain more than a year later

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Research shows adults and children can suffer from Long COVID. It's the term used to describe symptoms or medical issues that linger after the initial infection.

More than two years into the pandemic, health officials say long COVID is proving to be more common, but there's still much to be learned about how to prevent and treat it.

Pepin Lachance, a Milwaukee man who says he's experiencing long COVID, recalls when he first got sick.

"I couldn't breathe so much that I was getting scared," he said.

Lachance says symptoms included excessive coughing, fatigue, brain fog and more. Over a year later, he still has many of his symptoms.

"My two arms don't feel the same. I'll do something really simple like cutting up a piece of onion, but my muscles will start burning like I just worked out," he said.

When he realized he had post-COVID symptoms, he went to a doctor. While he's no longer seeking regular treatment, he lives with the symptoms every day while he also worries for his young children as the pandemic continues.

Lachance is not the only one experiencing post-COVID symptoms.

Dr. John Raymond, President at the Medical College of Wisconsin says this is a common problem now.

"About a third of people who have had COVID, even mild COVID, can have persistent symptoms," said Dr. Raymond.

Health experts are still working to understand the condition.

"We hear about brain fog and fatigue...people can have difficulty breathing, can have residual chest pain, weakness," said Dr. Raymond.

Many questions remain. "We really don't know. There may be people with lifelong symptoms from long COVID," said Raymond.

As doctors learn more, they say the best way to prevent long COVID is to protect yourself and others from getting infected. "We learn more every day about COVID and the pandemic isn't over yet," Dr. Raymond said.

For those who think they may be experiencing symptoms of long COVID, you're encouraged to see a doctor.

There are also now clinics that specialize in treating long COVID. Ascension Wisconsin and Froedtert Hospital are among those local locations.

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