Alyssa Milano shares video showing coronavirus-related hair loss

Alyssa Milano shares video allegedly showing coronavirus-related hair loss: ‘Please take this seriously’

NHS hasn't listed it as a symptom but some studies have indicated Covid-19 can cause hair loss

Sarah Young@sarah_j_young
Tuesday 11 August 2020 09:51
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Alyssa Milano has revealed that Covid-19 caused her hair to fall out and urged people to wear face masks to help curb the spread of the virus.

On Monday, the Melrose Place star shared a video on Twitter and Instagram to show the amount of hair loss she says she experienced as a “long hauler” – a term used to refer to someone who suffers from long-lasting coronavirus symptoms.

In the clip, Milano can be seen combing through her hair with a detangler brush to reveal clumps of hair that fall out with every stroke.

She ended the video by lifting the collection of hairs and saying: “One brushing, this is my hair loss from Covid-19. Wear a damn mask!”

The actor captioned the video to her followers, writing: “Thought I'd show you what #Covid19 does to your hair.

“Please take this seriously. #WearADamnMask #LongHauler.”

On Saturday, Milano opened up about the “many symptoms” she is still experiencing by sharing a photo of herself on social media during a hospital visit.

The Charmed star revealed to her followers that she was admitted to the emergency room after feeling a “real heaviness” in her chest.

“I was acutely sick w/ Covid-19 in April. I still have many symptoms. I am what they call a 'long hauler',” she wrote. “Last night, I had real heaviness in my chest. I went to the ER just to make sure it wasn’t a blood clot. Thankfully, it wasn’t.

”This virus sucks. Please take it seriously.”

Milano first shared her struggles with the lasting Covid-19 symptoms on Thursday when she announced she had tested positive for antibodies, despite receiving negative test results for the virus in March when she “basically had every COVID symptom.”

“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,” she recalled in an Instagram post. “I was confused. Low grade fever. And the headaches were horrible.”

The actor said she continued to experience “lingering symptoms,” which she described as “vertigo, stomach abnormalities, irregular periods, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, zero short term memory, and general malaise”.

After Milano decided to take another antibody test at a lab where blood is drawn, the star learned she had COVID-19 antibodies.

She also revealed that she would be donating her plasma – the liquid part of the blood which can contain antibodies – “with the hope that it might save a life”.

Currently, hair loss is not listed as one of the main symptoms of coronavirus.

According to the NHS, the main signs to look out for are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

However, in addition to the main symptoms, people around the world have reported experiencing various other side effects that they believe could be linked to the virus.

A recent survey of former coronavirus patients, conducted by Dr Natalie Lambert from the Indiana University School of Medicine with Survivor Corps, found that of more than 1,500 participants, over 400 people said they experienced hair loss as a part of their recovery.

Speaking to the Guardian, Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, acknowledged that some Covid-19 patients have reported hair loss but said it is not yet known if it is significant or not.

Dr Tanya Bleiker, clincial vice president of the British Association of Dermatologists, added that while the virus could be the cause of hair loss, there might be other explanations.

“A form of hair loss called telogen effluvium can result in temporary hair loss as a result of a number of triggers including fever and severe illness, which may explain some cases of hair loss reported with Covid-19 infection,” she said.

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