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What Are the Long Term Effects of COVID-19

March 18, 2024

What Are the Long Term Effects of COVID-19

What Are the Long Term Effects of COVID-19

People who test positive for COVID-19 typically recover from the virus within 2 to six weeks. But for some, the symptoms of the virus last much longer. Because COVID-19 is new, doctors and scientists are unsure about the long-term effects of the virus or what factors put patients at a higher risk of having severe side effects for weeks or months after recovery. Here we will take a closer look at what we know so far about the possible long-term coronavirus effects.

What We Know About the Long-Term Effects of COVID-19

Scientists believe that the virus responsible for COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) could cause similar effects to other coronaviruses such as severe acute respiratory syndrome or Middle East respiratory syndrome. Based on a study performed this year, 30% of people who recovered from SARS or MERS suffered from long-term abnormalities with their lungs. An analysis conducted in 2009 showed that 40% of all people who survived SARS still experienced chronic fatigue at least 3.5 years after they recovered.

Although COVID-19, SARS, and MERS are all caused by viruses in the same category, there are differences among them. Because of this, the statistics from patients who recovered from SARS and MERS cannot be used as a reliable resource for predicting the long-term effects of coronavirus. They can, however, provide us with a general idea of what to expect. 

Long-term Effects For Mild COVID-19 Cases

Many of the individuals who develop a mild case of COVID-19 recover on their own without the need for a hospital stay. Some of these individuals, however, will experience long-lasting symptoms that can range from mild to severe. These long-term symptoms can affect anyone, even young people who had the virus and people who were in perfect health when they tested positive.

Some of these symptoms include:

  • Muscle weakness
  • A pins-and-needles sensation
  • Mood changes
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Memory lapse
  • Low-grade fever
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Diarrhea
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • Rashes
  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • New onset of high blood pressure or diabetes

Long-term Effects for Severe COVID-19 Cases

People who experience a severe case of COVID-19 may suffer from serious long-term complications after recovering. These complications can lead to damage to the following:

The Heart

A review from June 2020showed 20 to 30% of all people who were hospitalized with COVID-19 show signs that the virus affected their heart muscle. Research shows that some individuals were also diagnosed with myocarditis, which is an inflammation of the heart muscle.

The Lungs

A study conducted in August showed that those who had a severe coronavirus case often had symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis. That is a type of lung damage that can lead to long-term difficulties with breathing.

The Nervous System

In April, a study that included 214 participants showed that those who had a severe case of COVID-19were more prone to experience neurological issues such as nerve pain, dizziness, or impaired consciousness.

At this time, doctors and scientists are still unsure about how these complications will affect people in the months and years to come.

Get Non-Emergency Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic

At BASS Primary Care, we understand that accidents and illnesses still occur even during a worldwide outbreak. That’s why we are here to help you with your non-emergency issues so that you can feel better soon. Call us at (925) 962-9120 if you are experiencing pain from headaches or ear infections or if you have a cut or scrape that requires attention. We look forward to assisting you. 

At BASS Primary Care Walk-in Clinic, it's Your Health, Your Schedule.