Seven months after Alyssa Milano started experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, she’s still dealing with the lingering effects of the virus.
The Melrose Place alum, 47, says she is one of the many COVID-19 “long haulers” — people who continue to feel the symptoms of the virus long after they should have recovered. Milano tells Dr. Mehmet Oz in a new interview that her most frequent symptoms are “extreme hair loss” and “brain fog.”
“It's hard, especially when you're an actor and so much of your identity is wrapped up in those things, like having long silky hair and clean skin,” she tells Oz on Friday’s episode of The Dr. Oz Show. “Along with that also, I have the brain fog. Which, again, as an actress, as someone who has to memorize dialogue and be able to emote, and respond, and be on my toes, it's frightening.”
Milano previously said that her COVID-19 symptoms started in March, but she tested negative at the time. It wasn’t until August, months later, that she tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies.
The Charmed star told Oz that the early days of her illness were “really scary.”
“My first symptoms were stomach issues and a headache like I've never felt before in my life, and just overwhelming fatigue,” she says. “That lasted for about three days. So I thought to myself, I should probably just go get tested. First test came back negative. I would say, two days after that first test, it settled in my lungs and that's when it got really scary. I said, ‘This is the moment. Do I go to the hospital, do I go to the emergency room or do I stay home?’ ”
VIDEO: Alyssa Milano on Her Initial COVID-19 Symptoms
Milano explained on Instagram in August that she got a second COVID-19 test back in March, which was also negative, along with her first antibody test. The U.S. had struggled to provide accurate COVID-19 testing early in the pandemic after the first batch of tests from the Centers for Disease Control were incorrectly formulated.
Milano decided to get tested for COVID-19 antibodies again in August as she continued to deal with "lingering symptoms like, vertigo, stomach abnormalities, irregular periods, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, zero short term memory, and general malaise." That test came back positive.
Now, as she still feels the effects of the virus and major outbreaks surge around the U.S., Milano is frustrated with the Trump administration’s response.
“It still feels like he's not taking this seriously enough,” she says. “We've now seen 20 members of his administration who are COVID positive. So obviously, this is a very contagious disease. I don't know what it's going to take to get some Federal leadership on this issue. But, 215,000 people have died. Cases are spiking right now, we are coming on to flu season, and he's telling people to not be afraid and go about their lives.”
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