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Alyssa Milano Opened Up About Her ‘Debilitating’ Symptoms as a COVID-19 ‘Long-Hauler’

Five months after coming down with COVID-19, Alyssa Milano is opening up about a multitude of symptoms and side effects she’s still continuing to experience. In a new interview on The Dr. Oz Show, the actress told Mehmet Oz, M.D., that she is a COVID “long-hauler.”

“I’ve never been sick like that, Dr. Oz,” the 47-year-old explained. “It was a very debilitating type of illness. And it just seemed to move throughout my body and my mind.”

Milano said she doesn’t believe other people are taking the spread of the novel coronavirus seriously, so she decided to share what she was going through on her Instagram, including her lingering COVID-19 symptoms.

“I thought of it as a respiratory illness before, and I think because it also goes into your vascular system, it affects every aspect of your body, not just your lungs,” she said. “I would never think that an illness or a virus would continue on. I’m now five months out, and I’m still having debilitating symptoms on some days.”

A post shared by Alyssa Milano (@milano_alyssa)

“I think any time you don’t see an end in sight, it’s terrifying,” she continued. Milano is worried certain symptoms may never go away: hair loss, brain fog, and unrelenting fatigue.

“It’s hard, especially when you’re an actor and so much of your identity is wrapped up in those things, like having long silky hair and clean skin,” she explained. “Along with that also, I have the brain fog. I’m a very quick-witted, quick-minded person and there will be moments where I freeze and think, ‘What’s the word I’m looking for right now?’ which, again, as an actress, as someone who has to memorize dialogue and be able to emote, and respond, and be on my toes, it’s frightening.”

Milano described her COVID-19 experience as a “rollercoaster.” The first symptoms she initially experienced in March included stomach issues, headaches, and overwhelming fatigue, lasting for about three days. “My first test came back negative,” she revealed. “Two days after that first test, [the virus] settled in my lungs, and that’s when it got really scary.”

A post shared by Alyssa Milano (@milano_alyssa)

“I had a high fever, a low-grade temperature. It felt like I had a corset and I had an elephant sitting on my chest,” she continued. After a few days of resting at home, Milano went back for another test, which also came back negative. Three and a half months after her acute illness, Milano said she finally tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies.

The mom of two said the coronavirus has “rocked her world,” especially because she also has anxiety disorder.

But she’s also concerned about the wellbeing of others. “I think because I had those two negative tests, we were very lucky it was when California was shut down, because I really believe that I would have asked my mom to come over and make me chicken soup or help with the kids … and my fear was that I was going to give it to someone I loved.”

Now, she isn’t sure if she’ll ever feel like her normal self. “There are some days I’m so tired that I can’t even get out of bed. And I think to live a life with that kind of exhaustion does not sound great,” she said. “We don’t know if people recover from this and if [those who] have long-hauler symptoms will ever feel 100%.”

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