Milwaukee Doctor Says 'Recovery' From COVID-19 Can Still Mean Health Problems

Oct 5, 2020

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin now tops 132,000, as nearly 5,000 new cases were reported over the weekend. Over the two-day period, 24 deaths were announced, bringing the statewide total to 1,377. 

Sunday's increases were smaller than Saturday's, as is typical.

The death toll remains skewed toward older Wisconsin residents, with 88% of the victims age 60 or over. Seventeen percent of those who have died were Black. Eleven percent Latino — both well above their percentages of Wisconsin's population. 

The ages of people getting sick skews toward younger Wisconsinsites, with 56% of confirmed cases being people under 40 years of age.

The rise in cases among younger people in recent weeks has likely been a factor in pushing the recovery rate for the coronavirus above 80%, compared to just over 70% three months ago. The state’s definition of recovery means there is documentation of resolved symptoms and release from public health isolation. Also, that there have been 30 days since symptom onset or diagnosis.  

"We've seen a lot of folks who have chronic fatigue, who have chronic muscle aches, who continue months out to have loss of smell or taste. We've seen effects of the virus creating blood clots, the virus causing strokes, causing heart issues." - Dr. Ben Weston

But there are more reports nationally about some people listed as recovered still having health problems. Among the medical experts concerned is Dr. Ben Weston, director of medical services for the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management.

"We know, and we're still learning, about this virus and what sort of long-term effects it can have. We've seen a lot of folks who have chronic fatigue, who have chronic muscle aches, who continue months out to have loss of smell or taste. We've seen effects of the virus creating blood clots, the virus causing strokes, causing heart issues. So, even if we know 80-some percent of people are recovered, which is great, it's a lot better than the alternative — we know that a lot of those folks are still suffering symptoms from COVID-19," Weston said.

Weston spoke Thursday afternoon before it was announced that President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and Waukesha State Rep. Scott Allen have tested positive for the coronavirus.