WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE)- Jami Pechonick's life was dramatically changed after a battle with COVID-19 that began last year. Today she says she’s still struggling. “The shortness of breath has been really tough. But I’ve also experienced nausea, vomiting, excruciating headaches, for several months there I didn't have a sense of taste or smell. I also didn't have an appetite. I was extremely sick; I had lost about 35 pounds," Pechonick said. 

Some COVID-19 patients are battling everyday with long haul symptoms and even after testing negative, this sickness is sticking with people. Jami Pechonick said, “Just up until about a month ago I was dealing with these awful symptoms. I couldn't breathe, I couldn't eat anything, I couldn't even hold my kids and play with them…I left with 7 prescriptions on my last ER visit.”

Doctors say COVID isn't going away anytime soon and the recent strain is according to Tom Moore, Infectious Disease Expert, “Much more contagious than any of the previous strains, in fact, it's more contagious than the measles now.”

Hence why the recent mask recommendation has come back into place for Sedgwick County. Dr. Moore warns that, “One in four people who come in for testing are positive for COVID, and that doesn’t count the ones testing positive at home.”

However fewer people are ending up hospitalized from COVID than previously, which is a silver lining to many.

Pechonick warns, “It doesn’t affect everyone the same. Some people do get very very ill, and end up hospitalized and in the emergency room.” “It’s better to be safe than sorry at this point. Especially if there’s elderly, children, or immunocompromised involved it's our job to keep people safe.”