LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) — Some people are facing problems, even months after they've recovered from COVID-19.
Michelle George is one of many suffering from the effects of long-COVID.
It started in March of last year but has ramped up in the last few months.
"I'll feel what is like a brain freeze if you drink a Slurpee too fast. Then I'll start stuttering, I'll start jerking. I'll get extremely nauseous," said George.
George had her first neurological episode in January.
"I've spent days where I couldn't even stand up without passing out and I'm laying down on the floor wherever I'm at," George said.
Sen. Tim Kaine also has long COVID difficulties.
"24/7 nerve tingling in my body, all the time. It's as if every nerve in my body has had five cups of coffee," said Sen. Kaine.
They are not alone.
A UC Davis Health study shows that more than one in four COVID-19 patients experiences long COVID.
The health problems arise months after folks get over the sickness.
They range from breathing problems and fatigue to heart issues and neurological episodes.
Kaine is proposing a "long-COVID" bill to create a database and fund more research.
"We have so many questions we still have to tackle. The estimates are that anywhere from 5 to 30 percent of people who've had COVID may have long-COVID symptoms. That's a pretty wide swath," he said.
"The challenge with long-COVID is that we don't have great data on it," said Dr. Cynthia Morrow with the Virginia Dept. of Health.
She agrees we need to find more answers.
"I think the important thing for everyone is that we get good data, so we can have a better way of answering that question," she said.
Dr. Morrow said there's also no information about whether a specific strain causes long-COVID.
Kaine is hoping to start the data collection part of his bill after the pandemic preparedness bill reaches the floor.
He said that bill passed in the health committee last week and will provide some funding for the research.