Some people recover completely from Coronavirus disease within a few weeks, while others continue to experience the symptoms even after their initial recovery.
These people are often described as “long haulers,” and the condition has been called “long COVID-19 or post-COVID-19 syndrome.” It persists for more than four weeks after you’ve been diagnosed with the virus.
People with underlying medical conditions and older people are most likely to experience lingering COVID-19 symptoms, but it can also occur in young and healthy people.
In this article, we’ll explore the long-term effects of Coronavirus on humans, common symptoms, and how to get help.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Post-COVID-19 Syndrome
Here are the signs and symptoms that indicate you may be having a post-COVID-19 syndrome
- Shortness of breath
- Joint pain
- Chest pain
- Loss of smell or taste
- Memory, concentration, or sleep problems
Organ Damage Caused by Long-term COVID-19 Effects
COVID-19 primarily damages many organs increasing the risk of long-term health issues, which include:
1. Lasting damage to the heart muscle
The heart muscle is made up of long fibers that contract with every heartbeat. Imaging studies revealed that COVID-19 causes these fibers to break apart into small pieces slowing down the cells’ ability to function effectively. It causes lasting cardiac defects in COVID-19 patients.
2. Damage to the Lungs
COVID-19 can cause lung complications such as pneumonia. In the most severe cases, it can result in acute respiratory distress syndrome or ARDS. Sepsis is another possible complication of COVID-19 that can lead to long-term breathing problems.
3. Brain Damage
The Coronavirus disease causes some veins and arteries in the brain to become weak and thin. Some people experience breaks in small blood vessels causing bleeding in the brain (so-called microbleeds).
Brain damage as a result of COVID-19 can also occur even in young people. This condition causes seizures, strokes, and temporary paralysis—also, an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease after some time.
4. Multisystem Inflammation
Multisystem inflammation is seen in most adults and children after they have had COVID-19. A condition where different body parts can become severely inflamed. Including the lungs, heart, kidneys, skin, eyes, gastrointestinal organs, or the brain.
4. Blood Clots and Blood Vessel Damage
Swollen legs, Purple rashes, clogged catheters, blood clots, large and small, are frequent complications of COVID-19. This condition makes blood cells more likely to clot.
While large blood clots can cause strokes and heart attacks, much of the damage caused to the heart is believed to come from small clots that block the tiny blood vessels found in the heart.
COVID-19 can also make the blood vessels weak and cause leakage, which contributes to long-lasting damage to the kidneys and liver.
Mood Problems and Fatigue
Simply surviving the COVID-19 experience can make a person more likely to develop post-traumatic stress syndrome, anxiety, and depression.
Some people who have recovered from COVID-19 developed chronic fatigue, a complex condition that worsens with mental or physical activity but doesn’t improve with rest.
It’s essential to closely monitor yourself after recovering from Coronavirus to observe how your body is functioning. If you’re still experiencing the symptoms of the long-term effects of COVID-19 or you need advice from a doctor, telemedicine is a great option to access healthcare.
National Coronavirus Hotline offers video visits with licensed doctors with extensive experience and training about Coronavirus infections. You can speak with a physician from the comfort and safety of your own home.