Long-term health effects of COVID-19

Symptoms of COVID-19 can last for months. Not only does the virus damage the lungs, it can also damage the heart and brain, increasing the risk of long-term health problems.

Recovery from COVID-19 does not mean the end of complications for some people. In the first few months of the pandemic, he devoted himself to figuring out how to prevent infections and take care of them in the hospital, but less attention was paid to the sequelae of the disease. But more than 10 months after the epidemic, these can no longer be ignored. SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) essentially infects the lungs, but it can damage organs such as the digestive system, kidneys, heart, and brain, so long-term health Increased risk of problems and life. -Threatening complications.

After COVID-19 syndrome

Many people infected with COVID-19 recover completely in days or weeks, but for some (even those who have experienced a mild pandemic), the road to recovery seems to be quite long. These people continue to experience symptoms after their first recovery.This state is called’COVID-19 Post-Syndrome’ Or “Long COVID-19.”

Elderly people and people with many serious medical conditions are expected to have prolonged symptoms of COVID-19, but even younger people (otherwise healthy people) may have weeks or months after this infection. You may feel sick. The most common symptoms that persist over time are:

  1. Joint pain
  2. Malaise
  3. Shortness of breath (or shortness of breath)
  4. cough
  5. Chest pain

Other long-term symptoms include:

  1. Headache and muscle aches
  2. Pounding or fast heartbeat
  3. Loss of taste and smell
  4. Memory problems, concentration or sleep problems
  5. Hair loss or rash

Organ damage caused by COVID-19

COVID-19 is generally considered to be a disease that primarily affects the lungs, but it can also damage many other organs. Organ damage caused by COVID-19 can increase the risk of long-term health problems. The organs that may be affected by COVID-19 are:

  1. heart: Diagnostic imaging tests performed months after recovery from COVID-19 infection show persistent damage to the heart muscle, even in people with mild symptoms. This may increase the risk of heart failure and other heart complications in the near future.
  2. lung: The type of pneumonia that is often associated with COVID-19 can cause long-term damage to the alveoli (small air sacs) of the lungs. The resulting scar tissue can cause long-standing respiratory problems.
  3. Brain: COVID-19 It can cause seizures, strokes and Guillain-Barré syndrome. This is a condition that causes temporary paralysis even in young people. COVID-19 may also increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Blood clot and blood vessel problems

COVID-19 infection can cause blood cells to aggregate and form blood clots. Large blood clots can cause strokes and heart attacks, but most of the heart damage caused by COVID-19 is said to be due to very small blood vessels that block the capillaries (small blood vessels) of the heart muscle. I will.

Other parts of the body that are affected by blood clots include the liver, kidneys, lungs, and legs. COVID-19 can also weaken and leak blood vessels, leading to long-lasting kidney and liver health problems.

Fatigue and mood problems

People experiencing severe symptoms of COVID-19 must be treated frequently in the hospital’s ICU (Intensive Care Unit) with mechanical assistance, including a ventilator to breathe. By surviving this experience, individuals are more likely to develop post-traumatic stress syndrome, anxiety, and depression later.

Because the long-term outcome of the COVID-19 virus is difficult to predict, scientists are investigating the long-term effects of related viruses, such as the virus that causes SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).

Most individuals who have recovered from SARS have developed chronic fatigue syndrome. Chronic fatigue syndrome is a complex disorder characterized by extreme malaise that can be exacerbated by physical or mental activity and does not improve with rest. The same is true for people infected with COVID-19.

Problems after COVID-19 in the elderly

Elderly people and older people are some of the vulnerable people, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Studies show that adults over the age of 60, especially those with a history of diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, cancer, etc., have more severe and even fatal COVID-19 infections compared to other age groups. I know it’s easy to get sick.

According to the Indian Journal of Medical Research (IJMR), about 60-70% of patients infected with this viral disease have heart problems or injuries. According to doctors, it is more common among high-risk groups with comorbidities over the age of 50. Heart involvement is common in these groups, but some groups eventually develop multiple organ failure. Also, people with high D-dimer at the time of infection may face blood clots even after recovery.

There are reports that physical and mental health risks, such as the risk of depression and loneliness in the elderly, are also increasing.

Problems after COVID-19 among children

Studies show that most children infected with COVID-19 may develop mild symptoms or be asymptomatic. They rarely develop serious complications from the disease. However, some children become seriously ill with COVID-19 due to an abnormal reaction in the immune system. Children with severe infections may have to fight a new pediatric inflammatory disease called Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C), a severe and life-threatening illness.

Symptoms of MIS-C have been reported to appear weeks or months after exposure to COVID-19 infection. Usually, they do not show the typical respiratory symptoms associated with the virus. Parents should be aware that although only a small proportion of post-recovery cases of MIS-C exist, it is a life-threatening illness that can affect many parts of the body. ..

Not all children have the same signs of MIS, but some of the most common symptoms of the disease are:

  • Lethargy
  • High fever lasting more than 24 hours
  • stomach ache
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • Bloody eyes
  • Rash or discoloration of the skin (mottled, pale or blue skin)
  • Chest pain, heartbeat
  • Dyspnea
  • Reduced urination
  • Sensitivity, confusion


Much is still unknown about how COVID-19 affects people over time. However, scientists recommend that doctors carefully monitor people infected with COVID-19 and observe how the organs function after recovery.

With this in mind, Apollo Hospital was launched. ApolloReCOVer ClinicA specialized post-COVID clinic to provide exclusive care to patients with persistent symptoms or associated organ damage after recovery from COVID-19.

It is important to know that many people with COVID-19 may recover soon. However, due to the potential long-term health problems of COVID-19, it is even more important to reduce the spread of the disease by following precautionary measures such as wearing masks, avoiding crowds and keeping hands clean.

Learn more about ApolloReCOVer Clinic

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