A Detroit nurse has been battling coronavirus symptoms for months after she contracted the disease despite being fully vaccinated.
Anna Kern, 33, was among the first group of healthcare workers to receive her initial shot of the vaccine in December 2020 and her second in early January.
However, she caught the virus in April in a very rare ‘breakthrough’ case.
Kern recovered from the illness, but is still experiencing symptoms like fatigue and an increased heart rate while performing day-to-day tasks months later in what has come to be known as ‘long haul COVID,’ reported INSIDER.
She even said she has trouble leaving her bed to do anything other than work by Memorial Day weekend.
Anna Kern (Pictured), 33, worked as both a nurse and at a COVID testing clinic before long-haul COVID symptoms left her unable to work due to intense fatigue. She was vaccinated before contracting the virus
‘I remember waking up and knowing that I needed to drink some water and maybe eat some food, but being so tired that I was trying to figure out if I could actually do that,’ Kern told INSIDER.
‘I ended up crawling from my bed to my refrigerator.’
Kern is a rare breakthrough COVID case, one out of every 10,000 people who will contract the virus despite being fully vaccinated.
On top of that, she also is suffering from a rarely severe case of long haul COVID-19, a condition where former COVID patients suffer from symptoms of the virus for weeks, moths, or potentially even longer after recovering from it.
Experts are still unsure as to how many Americans will suffer from long haul COVID-19.
Dr Noah Greenspan, who opened the first free standing long haul treatment center in New York City, told DailyMail.com last week that the condition usually appears in younger, healthier, people who likely did not seek out treatment when they had the virus due to more mild symptoms.
Dr Noah Greenspan (pictured) has become one of the foremost experts on long-haul COVID in the New York area, and works with patients on treating and managing their long-haul COVID symptoms
‘Usually people with severe COVID, people who either had severe cases, people that were hospitalized, people that were in the ICU…they don’t have the same type of situation as long haulers,’ Greenspan told DailyMail.com.
‘These people, although they were very very ill, once they kind of get on the road to recovery it’s been a fairly predictable uphill climb for them.
‘The long-haulers is just just a situation in which uncertainty is the major theme of everything that happens.’
Greenspan says that there is not much known about long haul COVID, how it happens, how long it lasts, or how to cure it.
Some patients the doctor has treated have had the condition up to 15 months now.
Patients will often show up as totally healthy on blood tests and other medical scans despite the fact that there is obviously something wrong.
Kern has long haul COVID, a condition that has left many doctors baffled. There is currently no timetable for how long it can effect a person
While getting the vaccine has helped some feel slightly less severe symptoms, the vaccine has not proved to help everyone.
In Kern’s case, she was already vaccinated before contracting the virus and still developed the condition.
Kern told INSIDER she was working non-stop during the pandemic, as both a nurse and at a COVID testing center in Detroit.
At first she was just experiencing chills and felt tired.
Then, while standing up to perform everyday activities, such as brushing her teeth, she realized her heart rate is 130 beats per minute when the normal rate should be 60 beats per minute.
Her intense symptoms of long haul made it tough for her to continue working, though, and she may not be able to return to work anytime soon as these issues persist.
‘I have been pretty much working nonstop since COVID started,’ she said.
‘This wouldn’t have been the way that I would have elected to take some time for me to breathe, but it is the way that it’s happening.’
As the world returns to ‘normal’ and begins opening up, Greenspan warns that society can not forget the people who will still be dealing with the after effects of COVID for potentially years down the line.
Kern believes the same.
‘It’s worth remembering, as everything starts to open back up, and some normalcy returns, that for a lot of people, this really isn’t over,’ she wrote in a Facebook post.