COVID Patient Develops New Symptoms Months Later Likely Tied to Virus

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It’s been about three months since TCU graduate student Will Horn walked out of JPS Hospital after a five-day stay being treated for COVID-19, and he’s still trying to find his strength.

“Frankly it’s been a lot slower than I was thinking. I was actually thinking after I got out of the hospital that probably a couple of weeks after that I was going to be back to normal, and that’s just not been the case,” said Horn.

Not only has the long-time runner struggled to regain his energy. He’s also started to develop new symptoms.

“Just a lot of pain in my joints, very, very tired. I had a couple of bouts where I was having very painful… I don’t know how to explain it, but my throat and neck were very sore. I couldn’t swallow,” said Horn.

And after a doctor’s visit last week, he got a working or preliminary diagnosis of subacute thyroiditis.  

It’s an inflammatory disease that can occur after a respiratory virus.

According to Baylor College of Medicine Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine Dr. Ruchi Gabba, it’s just recently been linked to COVID-19.

“Initially we thought it was associated with severe respiratory symptoms and it was maybe like a bad cold or flu-like. Now we have much more data to support that it not only affects the respiratory system but many other organs, and one of those organs in the thyroid gland,” said Gabba.

Horn underwent more testing Wednesday to confirm the diagnosis.

Gabba said for most patients, the symptoms linked to both high and low thyroid levels will eventually subside in a few months.

Still, Horn is frustrated by another setback.

“My thought is, Ok. Here’s something else to deal with. Is there going to be something else that I don’t know about?” said Horn.

He also stresses that he was healthy before contracting COVID-19, urging everyone to take it seriously.

“Once you get that negative test and you’re not shedding virus anymore, it doesn’t mean that your body is recovered. People need to know that,” said Horn.

*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.

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