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Post Covid-19 Syndrome: Long Term Effects of the Illness

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Post Covid-19 Syndrome

The world has been turned upside down amid the pandemic. For those who have caught, battled, and survived the disease the future may seem uncertain. Researchers have reported ailments linked to the disease and many are not streamlined. Many of which are occurring long after the patient has recovered. With a new virus come new challenges, such as understanding and preparing for the long term effects of Covid-19.

Long Term Illness

The coronavirus is a retro virus that wreaks havoc on the immune system and can effect every organ in the body. Many people around the world have lost their lives while many more survive and try to recover. Those who are recovering are fighting an uphill battle against an illness that is new and with ailments that are not simply categorized. The worst of the long term ailments continue to be pulmonary, cardiac, and cognition related. While other lesser effects are hair loss, joint pain, and fatigue.

Pulmonary Problems

Patients often develop ARDS, which is Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. The inflammation suffered from a Coronavirus infection scars the lung tissue causing ARDS, making it very difficult to breathe. This can be much worse for patients on ventilators as inactivity of normal respiration can cause muscle loss and drastically effect the lungs. This unfortunately carries over into any daily activity and puts additional strain on patients as they try to get back into their normal routines.

The inflammation response that is trigged has caused many to develop blood clots, or deep vein thrombosis. This puts patients at a greater risk for developing a pulmonary embolism.

A research study was conducted in Austria involving Covid-19 patients. The study showed that some patients developed a chronic cough while others suffered shortness of breath even after 19 weeks of being discharged from the hospital. Lung inflammation from Covid-19, better known as ‘ground glass,’ was prevalent in patients up to 12 weeks after being discharged. The upside to all this is that the majority of patients showed improvement as their bodies healed over time.

Cardiac Problems

Some of the most common cardiac diseases developed by Covid patients are myocarditis, cardiomegaly, and cardiomyopathy. According to the Mayo Clinic people who have recovered from Covid-19 have developed heart damage which puts them at risk for a plethora of other cardiac diseases. The cytokine storm brought on by inflammation can even cause abnormal heart rhythm.

Cognitive Impairment

More cases of cognitive impairments are being discovered in patients recovering from the virus. Researchers are starting to connect Covid-19s attack on the lungs and the body’s inflammatory response as the factors most responsible for cognitive decline. In the most severe cases patients have developed cerebral vascular accidents and in the milder cases patients have developed simple brain fog. Fevers have also been reported after recovery and are now considered a common long term effect of the virus. Unchecked a fever can lead to disorientation and fatigue. Patients should monitor their temperature frequently during the recovery period.

Fatigue

Perhaps the most reported long term effect of Covid-19 is fatigue. This goes hand in hand with muscle pain and pulmonary function. Simple tasks that required little or no effort before infection may now seem labored and difficult as the lungs and muscles begin to heal. Some severe cases of the infection may have required patients to receive physical therapy.

Recovery

Throughout all this what has been found out is that patients that are most at risk are those with underlying health conditions. However, that is not always the case as Covid-19 does little to discriminate. There are some cases where very healthy people tragically succumb to the disease and pass away. While others who suffer health issues develop a mild case and quickly recover. Genetic makeup, health, age, and underlying health conditions are many factors that can dictate how well the body fights the disease.

Where Do We Go From Here?

The thing we all have to do is to seek immediate medical attention if we have symptoms of the virus or have come in contact with someone that has the virus. Following all the instructions from your doctor will result in obtaining the best recovery possible. We all must stay vigilant and use common sense when out in public as to minimize exposure. For those who are recovering from Covid-19 it is vital to follow your doctor’s treatment plan and to report any prolonged ailments along with recording your progression through recovery.

Sources

A research study involving Covid-19 patients in Austria

ARDS & long term effects of Covid-19 from Banner Health

Cardiac effects of Covid-19 from The Mayo Clinic

Cardiac effects of Covid-19 from Scientific American

National Center for Biotechnology Information, Cardiology and Covid-19

Cardiology and the Coronavirus from John Hopkins

Cognition and Coronavirus from The U.S. Library of Medicine

Fatigue and the Coronavirus from the Center of Disease Control


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2021 E Randall

Comments

E Randall (author) from United States on February 05, 2021:

Thank you Mrs. Oglesby I appreciate it. I am glad you are getting that vaccine that is one of the best ways to get protection. I don't know anyone that has passed away from it personally. However, I know a few people who have become very sick from it. The crazy thing is the youngest I know of was 19 years old. We are living in some crazy times. Thanks for your comment and stay safe.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on February 05, 2021:

This is an very informative article, E Randall. I sure don't want to get the virus as I am high risk. I have gotten my first vaccine and had abolutely no problem with it.

I really wonder if the people that have ongoing problems might have had some other medical problems before they got the virus. I only know a very few number of people who had t he virus and they recovered very well.