What are the long-term effects of COVID-19? – Part 1

 What are the long-term effects of COVID-19? – Part 1

COVID-19 can have long-lasting effects on physical and mental health even when individuals no longer show symptoms. The majority of individuals who contract COVID-19 recover after a few weeks. However, some individuals can continue to experience coronavirus symptoms long-term despite initially recovering from the virus. Individuals who suffer mild versions of coronavirus can also face long comebacks to full health. In some cases, they won’t completely return to full health.

One of the scariest aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic is that it is an equal opportunity infectious disease. People in seemingly great health have been hit hard by the coronavirus resulting in long-term problems and in some cases, death.

Who is at most risk for COVID-19 long-term health problems?

The most vulnerable people in terms of long-term health problems resulting from COVID-19 are older individuals and those with underlying health issues. Lingering symptoms can also be experienced by young people. Research found that healthy people can feel unwell for long periods after the initial infection.

The most common COVID-19 symptoms experienced by individuals include:

  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing and shortness of breath
  • Cough, often persistent and chesty
  • Joint pain
  • Chest pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Pounding or rapid heartbeat
  • Loss of smell
  • Loss of taste
  • Memory, concentration or sleep difficulties
  • Rash
  • Hair loss

Are there more serious long-term effects from COVID-19?

Individuals can experience even more serious long-term effects that target the organs. The lungs are often considered the primary organ effected by coronavirus as it is a respiratory disease. However, other organs can be impacted by the virus. Organ damage can cause long-term damage to a person’s health.

Organs that may be affected by COVID-19 include the heart, lungs, and brain.

  • Heart – COVID-19 causes long-lasting issues to the heart, even if an individual suffered mild symptoms. Heart failure and/or other heart issues may occur in the future.
  • Lungs – Pneumonia can develop in people suffering from COVID-19. Damage can be sustained by the alveoli, the tiny air sacs in the lungs. Scar tissue in the lungs from COVID-19 produced pneumonia can cause long-lasting breathing issues.
  • Brain – Regardless of age, COVID-19 can cause strokes and seizures. The virus can cause Guillain-Barre syndrome, which causes temporary paralysis. Research suggests that sufferers may have an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease and/or Alzheimer’s disease.

 

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