It’s been 3 years since NC confirmed its first case of COVID-19

Health experts address long-lasting symptoms from the virus
It’s been 3 years since NC confirmed its first case of COVID-19
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 6:58 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 16, 2023 at 7:00 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The COVID-19 pandemic is a time many will never forget.

“Over the past three years, we’ve developed a better understanding of COVID. How it spreads, how it evolves, and that’s helped us change our response a little bit,” said Onslow County Communicable Disease Nursing Supervisor, Kimberly Collins.

Even three years later, the virus is still around.

Dave Harlow, Allied Health Senior VP says, “It’s something that’s commonplace today but certainly back then, it was scary. Today as we speak, we’ve got about 13 patients. It’s something that we deal with on a regular basis now. It’s not quite as scary now because we’ve got therapies because again, back when we first started this, all we had was testing. We had testing and masking and social distancing.”

Though cases are going down, some are still experiencing the long-lasting impacts of the virus.

“Tiredness, fatigue, muscle aches, joint pain, neurological symptoms, pretty much what you would have with other illnesses as well.”

It can be a challenge to decipher where the sickness is coming from.

“It is hard to tell sometimes but if you have been diagnosed with COVID or if you think you’ve been exposed to COVID; if you’re experiencing lasting symptoms, they can last weeks, months, years then definitely follow up with your primary care physicians.”

Health experts are still encouraging everyone to take the precautionary steps to maintain good health.

“Stay home if you’re sick, get tested, and make sure you have the most up-to-date vaccination,” Collins says.

Currently, in North Carolina, 78% of adults are vaccinated and 59% have the original booster according to the CDC.