A report published in February by the World Health Organization, based on preliminary data, suggested that in mild cases the median recovery time from Covid-19 is roughly two weeks from the onset of symptoms, and in severe or critical cases about three to six weeks. However, some of those who appear to have only mild illness initially also end up wrestling with symptoms, including fatigue, that linger for weeks or months. For many COVID survivors, testing negative is only half the battle won. COVID-19, as an infectious viral disease induces a heavy burden on the body and can leave patients suffering from symptoms long after recovery, no matter how mild or severe the infection was. Latest findings from the National Institute of Health, Britain (NIH) suggest that infection possibilities not just multiply post-COVID, but can also launch a multi-pronged attack, causing possibly a ‘rollercoaster’ of symptoms affecting all parts of the body and mind.
While doctors suggest that full recovery would require a month or two post-infection, SARS-COV-2 can also leave lasting consequences for the body’s vital organs, and require acute health monitoring for a long time. From heart trouble, thrombosis to nervous disorders, there are some COVID signs which could indicate signs of long term trouble. Take a look:
People who have made successful recoveries from COVID are returning to hospitals complaining of discomfort, fullness and cardiac complications, despite having no pre-existing history for heart problems. Some have also been asked to go for preventive screenings in the long run. In fact, incidents of myocardial injuries and infraction are some of the most common post-COVID issues people face and leave lasting damage in the long run.
According to doctors, the heart is one of the most vital organs impacted by COVID, and the implications can be harsh for everyone, no matter what age, severity, immunity or condition they have. At a preliminary level, it may lead to a decrease in heart function. This could be a result of either the systemic inflammatory response to infection or direct viral infection in the heart. Excessive pressure or stress put on the lungs or the heart can also result in myocarditis, which can lead to arrhythmia or even heart failure, in rare cases. Hence, it’s important to look out for preventive signs, keep a check on essential vitals and take action accordingly. Making changes to your diet and lifestyle, as part of rehabilitative care should also be paid attention to in the long run.
Apart from the heart, one of the ways SARS-COV-2 virus implicates your body functioning is attacking the lungs and scarring the linings across the respiratory organs, leading to a build-up of a threatening condition, commonly known as fibrosis. COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory infection and reduces vital functioning. Due to avid viral multiplication and compromised immune response, the virus can start to ‘clot’ parts of your respiratory system and make normal functions, such as breathing difficult for some. It is for the same reason, many experience bouts of breathlessness, fatigue, low oxygen saturation weeks or months after testing negative. All of these are some of the early signs of lung fibrosis and require acute care and support. Failure to take care at the earliest can have potentially faltering consequences for a person’s health, especially for someone who is over the age of 50, or is prone to respiratory disorders.
Thrombosis refers to the formation of blood clots in the blood vessels, which prohibits proper blood flow through the body’s circulatory system. In some cases, a reduced, or compromised blood flow could lead to an increased risk of some patients developing blood clots in the veins that cause leg clots (deep vein thrombosis) and pulmonary embolism. Experts say COVID-19, of all diseases, carries the most risk for increased rates of thrombosis for patients who are infected by it, as well as those who have tested negative. This is far more damaging for someone who is immuno-compromised or is suffering from diabetes. It is for the same reason that patients diagnosed with COVID and those who have pre-existing medical issues are advised to take blood thinners like aspirin on a prophylactic basis to cut down on chances of complications.
Studies emerging out of New York have detailed that intensive cases of COVID-19 caused long-term damage to the kidneys, with over 60% of critically ill COVID patients requiring support in the long term. Not only is this finding unexpected, but researchers also say that it is also one of the most ‘silent’ signs of degradation in the body. Problems like chronic kidney disease (CKD), renal failure are also being commonly reported amongst patients who have recovered from COVID-19.
Cognitive decline and brain fog
Brain fog, anxiety, depression, PTSD and a decreased quality of life are some of the symptoms COVID long haulers are talking about. It is just another way how a simple ‘respiratory’ virus could pose long term trouble for your brain and nervous system. Though it isn’t entirely clear as to how and why does the COVID causing virus to impact your brain functioning, effects on your mental health could have lasting problems, and further slowdown recovery. Cured patients are also reporting symptoms of memory loss, confusion, forgetfulness, likening them to dementia-like symptoms.
Mood and fatigue
People who have severe symptoms of COVID-19 often have to be treated in a hospital’s intensive care unit, with mechanical assistance such as ventilators to breathe. Simply surviving this experience can make a person more likely to later develop post-traumatic stress syndrome, depression and anxiety.
COVID-19 is known to affect blood flow — which means it can impact your hearing.
Much is still unknown about how COVID-19 will affect people over time. However, researchers recommend that doctors closely monitor people who have had COVID-19 to see how their organs are functioning after recovery.
It’s important to remember that most people who have COVID-19 recover quickly. But the potentially long-lasting problems from COVID-19 make it even more important to reduce the spread of the disease by following precautions such as wearing masks, avoiding crowds and keeping hands clean.
Source: TOI, Internet
The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.