Tampa man still experiencing COVID-19 symptoms 5 months after contracting virus

Hillsborough County

TAMPA (WFLA) – Marcus Tomoff says he first came down with the coronavirus in June and that his first symptoms were mild.

“No smell no taste,” said Tomoff.

He says the symptoms continued to grow and were much worse.

“Headaches, congestion, a light harsh cough, just kind of itchy, a lot of headaches, a lot of chest pains, very weak, and feeling out of it. I was winded very easily when I say weak, it was really hard to move around the house a little bit. I also experienced a lot of nausea. I was throwing up left and right, hot sweats, cold sweats,” said Tomoff.

His fight has lasted for months. Tomoff is what medical experts now call a “long hauler”.

“A lot of hospitals are opening clinics now to try and assist people with this long hauler type syndrome,” said Dr. Thomas Unnasch, an infectious disease expert with USF Health. “This is for most of the people, maybe 90 percent of the people, 95 percent of the people this is really not a problem, but if you are in that unlucky ten percent, it could turn into a really big problem.”

Dr. Unnasch says right now there is no cure for long haulers.

“You could either die or even if you survive there is a pretty good probability you are going to be really sick for a long time and maybe for the rest of your life,” said Dr. Unnasch.

Tomoff says he’s learned a lot about the virus and he’s urging everyone not to let their guard down.

“We can’t go back to our normal lives again,” said Tomoff.

The Florida Department of Health reported 17,344 coronavirus cases Friday. It is important to note the number accounts for a two-day period because the state did not release data on Thanksgiving.

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