People with COVID symptoms, regardless of how mild the infection is, usually have discomforting symptoms like extreme fatigue, body, and headaches. A more unfortunate occurrence is that some persons who recover from COVID-19 have lingering symptoms even when their PCR swab test result is negative. This group of persons are known as COVID long-haulers.
Experts are currently researching to know more about this occurrence that most people refer to as the post-COVID-19 syndrome because more persons are still experiencing some COVID-19 symptoms weeks to months after their recovery and after having a negative test result. It is still unclear why these symptoms persist after recovery. But COVID-19 long-haulers may require specialized care or regular follow-up appointments.
What symptoms occur during post-COVID syndrome?
The coronavirus presents several symptoms, and this is also the same for the post-COVID syndrome. However, most persons with post-COVID syndrome have the following symptoms.
- Sleep issues
- Chest pain
- Joint pain
- Difficulty in breathing
- Loss of taste or smell
- Brain fog includes the inability to concentrate
- Impaired memory
It is still unclear how long these symptoms remain, but findings, for now, show that it may last for a minimum of six months in some persons. Post-COVID syndrome symptoms are unique for most of these persons. For example, MRI scans of some COVID long-haulers show that they have myocarditis. This means that the heart muscles will remain inflamed months after they recovered from COVID-19 even when the patient did not have heart-related issues when infected.
The cause of symptoms occurring during post-COVID syndrome is not yet exact. However, hypotheses include hidden infections that elicit a prolonged immune response. The long-term effects are also unclear, but it is clear whether these symptoms will affect the quality of living of these persons. Experts do not expect these symptoms to impact health, like ongoing damage to body organs severely.
Who can experience post-COVID syndrome?
People who had life-threatening complications and needed hospitalization due to COVID-19 may need special care and follow-up appointments for months after recovering. Post-COVID syndrome does not only affect those who had organ damage when infected and those who needed emergency medical attention.
Experts have observed that those who visited the emergency room because their COVID-19 symptoms were severe or had symptoms that needed a short stay in the hospital still experience lingering symptoms. It also affects people who only experienced mild symptoms and didn’t need treatment.
The prevalence of the post-COVID syndrome is unknown, but different studies show that it may be more common in different persons. Some recent studies state that only about 10% of those who contracted and recovered from the coronavirus may develop the syndrome. While other tasks suggest a higher occurrence of about 70%.
Some experts believe that post-COVID syndrome is likely to occur in a specific group of persons. The individuals at risk of having lingering COVID-19 symptoms include the following.
- Persons above 50 years
- People with existing health conditions like diabetes, hypertension, obesity, or cardiopulmonary issues
- Those who had severe symptoms
What to do while experiencing post-COVID syndrome?
If your symptoms were mild and you did not require hospitalization. But experiencing symptoms of Post-COVID syndrome, call your primary care provider and book an appointment. Your doctor should determine the severity of your symptoms and recommend treatment for the mild ones or refer you to a specialist.
If you had severe COVID-19 symptoms requiring hospitalization, you might have a cardiologist follow up on any heart-related problems like chest pain. You may also have a pulmonologist to check any lung issues like difficulty in breathing.
Post-COVID syndrome symptoms are many, and because it is a new condition, a particular doctor or specialist may not treat all the signs. Your doctor may refer you to one or more of the following specialists, depending on your post-COVID syndrome.
- Primary care physician
- Physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist
The long-term effect of COVID-19 on several persons, even those with mild symptoms, is discomforting. So it is essential to continue to adhere to the safety and health guidelines to help prevent the risk of getting infected. These safety measures include:
- Wearing your face mask
- Practicing social distancing
- Having a good hand hygiene routine which includes washing your hands often
- Avoiding large and crowded gathering
- Avoiding hand contact with your face
Do not forget to get your PCR test in London for COVID-19 as soon as you notice the corona virus symptoms. This ensures your safety and that of others around you.
Read more: Natural ways to boost your immune system