What Is Long COVID? Why Do Patients Feel Sick Even After Recovering?

Bengaluru: Do people actually recover from COVID-19? Technically yes. However, the truth is that patients who are considered to have overcome the virus keep reeling under its effect in some form or the other for days, weeks and months.

Over 12 million people across the world have officially “recovered” from COVID-19, but a large percentage continue to feel the effects of the disease to this day, with no end in sight, reported The Print.

Such after-effects are coming to be known as ‘long COVID’ despite testing negative for the virus and are also being called post-COVID syndrome, the report added.

What are the symptoms?

  • Headaches
  • Fevers
  • Confusion
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Loss of sense in extremities
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Prolonged breathing difficulty

The authorities have reportedly launched a recovery monitoring exercise among discharged patients.

Chronic fatigue syndrome

It is one of the most common symptoms. Also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis chronic fatigue syndrome or ME/CFS, it causes chronic levels of fatigue, sometimes debilitating on a daily basis, the report added.

CFS symptoms include:

  • Perennial and extreme tiredness
  • Muscle or joint weakness
  • Fevers or chills
  • Digestive issues
  • Frequent sore throats
  • Sudden sensitivity to noise or light
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Brain fog
  • Inability to concentrate or focus
  • Inability to retain memories
  • Swollen lymph nodes

How can CFS impact lifestyle?

  • It can lead to isolation
  • Mood changes
  • Underperformance at work due to inability to focus
  • Inability to focus on tasks and be present in conversations.

There’s no cure for CFS, but the symptoms can be managed or treated in some people through routine medication, The Print reported.

Although these symptoms started surfacing in March, they were largely dismissed as exaggerations. Patients turned to social media for help and as the actual scale of the problem started to slowly emerge, support groups were created online, the report added.

Other features of ‘Long COVID’

  • At least one comorbidity
  • It is primarily experienced normally by women between the ages of 40 and 60
  • However, it occurs across ages and sex in COVID patients
  • Children also suffer from it
  • Some people have reported symptoms for four to five months
  • Decline in cognitive function and mental ability
  • Tremors
  • Ringing in ears
  • Insomnia
  • Inability to sleep continuously
  • Anorexia or increased appetite
  • Bruising and rashes
  • Chills
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Abnormal heart rate
  • Persistent diarrhoea
  • Rapid weight loss and other digestive issues
  • Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)
  • Nausea
  • Extreme thirst
  • Loss of taste and smell
  • Vision and hearing loss.

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