long COVID

Actress Alyssa Milano Details Long COVID Battle: ‘Every Symptom Imaginable'

Actress Alyssa Milano, 49, describes her experience as a long hauler struggling with lingering symptoms over two years since her acute COVID-19 infection

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Actress and activist Alyssa Milano opens up about her experience as a COVID-19 long hauler dealing with debilitating symptoms, two years after recovering from the acute coronavirus infection.

The Brooklyn native first experienced symptoms similar to having a stomach bug in April 2020. Two days after receiving a negative COVID test result, Milano's symptoms grew increasingly worse, and she felt as if she was dying.

Extreme chest heaviness, shortness of breath, loss of smell, hair loss and heart palpitations were just a few of the symptoms Milano recalled.

While the "Charmed" and "Who's the Boss?" star says she was acutely sick for about 12 days, she has yet to see a full recovery.

At one point, a CT scan revealed the small blood vessels in her lungs were operating at 30% capacity.

"I have always had every single symptom imaginable, so every symptom that they list whether it be from acute COVID or long COVID, I have had. Shortness of breath, heart palpitations, brain fog, exhaustion at 4 o'clock in the evening, tingling in my hands and feet and just forgetfulness," Milano told NBC New York in a recent interview.

While she wishes to seek solace in the fact many others are suffering, Milano believes that Americans are only just seeing the repercussions of the pandemic and what it means for those without healthcare, those who rely on disability benefits to live and just overall impacts on the economy.

"When we go get physicals after having COVID or being positive from COVID, this should include conversation about long COVID, what can be done, if there are any supplements," said Milano, who noted what particularly helped her was an iron infusion.

To her, the pandemic forced an issue that will impact a generation of long haulers, including their families, without a clear-cut plan in place for these patients.

Last year, the actress partnered with nonprofit The Creative Coalition in pushing a COVID vaccination public service announcement. Milano has been a UNICEF National Ambassador since 2003, and understands it is not just low-income communities in the U.S. that are struggling but those around the world.

"Unless we are all safe, none of us are safe. Unless we are all being treated, none of us can be adequately treated," noted Milano.

This story is part of a series, "Living with Coronavirus For the Long Haul," following long COVID experts and patients during the two-year pandemic anniversary. Watch the previous episode here.

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