Since March, Alyssa Milano found herself battling COVID-19. Though she beat the virus, it has lingering after-effects. For her, that includes hair loss. Symptoms began months ago in the form of fever and intense headaches.
During the brunt of her battle with the coronavirus, Milano thought for sure she was dying. Indeed, when she got tested, she tested positive for the deadly virus’s antibodies. Her condition felt so dire, she needed a breathing apparatus. But even all the way in August, new effects crop up.
“I had never been this kind of sick”
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This was me on April 2nd after being sick for 2 weeks. I had never been this kind of sick. Everything hurt. Loss of smell. It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t keep food in me. I lost 9 pounds in 2 weeks. I was confused. Low grade fever. And the headaches were horrible. I basically had every Covid symptom. At the very end of march I took two covid19 tests and both were negative. I also took a covid antibody test (the finger prick test) after I was feeling a bit better. NEGATIVE. After living the last 4 months with lingering symptoms like, vertigo, stomach abnormalities, irregular periods, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, zero short term memory, and general malaise, I went and got an antibody test from a blood draw (not the finger prick) from a lab. I am POSITIVE for covid antibodies. I had Covid19. I just want you to be aware that our testing system is flawed and we don’t know the real numbers. I also want you to know, this illness is not a hoax. I thought I was dying. It felt like I was dying. I will be donating my plasma with hopes that I might save a life. Please take care of yourselves. Please wash your hands and wear a mask and social distance. I don’t want anyone to feel the way I felt. Be well. I love you all (well, maybe not the trolls. Just the kind people.)❤️
“This was me on April 2nd after being sick for 2 weeks,” Milano wrote in an Instagram post from last week. She went on and outlined everything she felt, which was all unprecedented for her. “I had never been this kind of sick. Everything hurt. Loss of smell. It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t keep food in me. I lost 9 pounds in 2 weeks. I was confused. Low grade fever. And the headaches were horrible.”
The accompanying picture shows her with a breathing apparatus to make up for that elephant compressing her chest. When she went to get tested, though, some things became inconsistent. Initial testing showed she did not have COVID-19. But as symptoms persisted for months, she got another antibody test, which finally turned up positive.
Alyssa Milano now experiences hair loss
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) August 9, 2020
Debilitating and bewildering systems continued for months since she contracted COVID-19. Now, those effects for Alyssa Milano include hair loss. She shared the update on Twitter along with a video showing her combing her hair. When she pulls the brush back, many long strands hang from the bristles. Next, she captioned her tweet, “Thought I’d show you what #Covid19 does to your hair. Please take this seriously.”
Replies had mixed reactions of sympathy, doubt, and side notes for possible causes. Haircare experts say amounts like this are normal. Other comments voiced gratitude for the transparency. Others still point to COVID-19 as an indirect but still responsible culprit. They note that intense stress-related hormone level changes caused by the intense conditions from the coronavirus could cause hair loss. It’s not something in the virus’s own DNA and mechanisms, but rather the host’s body caused by the toll the virus takes on that body. Indeed, other survivors besides Alyssa Milano do cite hair loss as an after-effect from the virus.