Almost six months after first experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, Alyssa Milano says that while her health is improving, she still gets "occasional heart palpitations."
In her latest update on her condition, the star wrote on Instagram Wednesday that she is still facing some effects after having previously dealt with issues like vertigo, stomach abnormalities, irregular periods and shortness of breath since she first began feeling ill in March.
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"Soooooo....how are you? This is a wellness check and a health update," she wrote. "I’m ok. I’m starting to physically feel better. I’m still taking an aspirin every 3 days to thin my blood, fish oil, vitamin D, C, zinc and a B complex. I still have occasional heart palpitations. I still forget my words (absolute worst part). But it’s not nearly as bad as it was a few weeks ago. I feel better."
Milano, 47, has identified herself as a "long hauler," a COVID-19 survivor with lingering problems. Her ongoing heart issues are not uncommon, as two studies published in July showed the virus can linger in the heart for months even without producing symptoms.
Another study found that 16.7% of COVID-19 patients developed arrhythmia, while other reports indicated cases of acute onset heart failure, heart attack and cardiac arrest after coronavirus infection, the American College of Cardiology has said.
Doctors have also found that COVID-19 patients can experience long-term issues with their lungs, kidneys, brain, mental health and nervous system.
Milano's fears go beyond her own health, however.
"I had a ct scan of my lungs and a cardiac MRI and both were normal. I get super scared sometimes, though," she wrote. "Not of getting sick again but of my loved ones getting sick. I don’t ever want them to have this thing. It’s a beast. So I vacillate between being so grateful and so terrified. Grateful that it was me who got sick and terrified that friends or family will be sick. And I can’t help but wonder—how are you? Please be safe. Please let me know you’re ok."
The actor has been sharing her experiences with various symptoms, including a video of her hair loss that she says is related to having COVID-19.
She also noted that at one point she lost nine pounds in two weeks due to the illness.
"I had never been this kind of sick," she wrote on Instagram. "Everything hurt. Loss of smell. It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t keep food in me. I lost 9 pounds in 2 weeks. I was confused. Low grade fever. And the headaches were horrible. I basically had every Covid symptom."
Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, spoke on TODAY in July about the issues faced by long haulers.
"What we’re seeing is that this is a byproduct of the inflammation from the virus itself," he said. "In other words, dead fragments of virus elicit an immune response. And as a result of this, the body reacts and produces certain types of substances that can really have adverse effects."