Even the mildest cases of COVID-19 usually bring dreary symptoms to the infected as soon as they get a COVID-19 Test. Most of them recover within a few days or weeks thanks to regular consultation and testing at pathology labs near them, but some, even while not affected much by the infection, continue to experience varying degrees of the symptoms after recovery. To make the matters even worse, more and more sets of people who have recovered from COVID-19 are reporting to be experiencing symptoms that linger with them even months after testing negative for the virus.
This condition is described as ‘Post COVID Syndrome’ or ‘Long-Term COVID’ - one where the effects and symptoms of the infection persist after more than 4 weeks of complete recovery. Elder folks and ones with other underlying medical conditions are observed to be more likely experiencing persistent COVID-19 symptoms. Even in particular young, otherwise healthy people, there have been cases of Post COVID Syndrome with them feeling unwell for long after recovery from the infection.
Some of the common symptoms & signs of Post COVID Syndrome that linger over time include:
1) Persistent Fever
2) Consistent tiredness and fatigue causing interference with everyday life
3) One or more symptoms that worsen with meagre physical or mental effort (a.k.a. “post-exertional malaise”)
1) Consistent Cough
2) Shortness of breath and/or difficulty in breathing
3) Rapid beating or pounding of the heart (a.k.a. palpations of the heart)
4) Acute & repetitive chest pain
1) Random pinching and needle-like feelings on the skin
2) Change in perception and reception of smell and/or taste
3) Sleep issues - both insomnia and hypersomnia
4) Sharp headaches
5) Difficulty in thinking, focusing or concentrating (commonly known as “brain fog”)
6) Depression and/or anxiety
7) Unexplained dizziness standing up (lightheadedness or head rush)
1) Constant Stomach pain
2) Recurring diarrhoea
1) Changes in menstrual cycles
2) Pain in joints and/or muscles
3) Rashes across the body
The ideal way to avoid getting into the vicious circle of Post COVID Syndrome is to avoid getting infected with COVID in the first place. But in the unfortunate event that you do return a positive COVID test at a pathology lab near you, practising COVID precautions like wearing a face mask and practising social distancing at all times, apart from getting a COVID vaccine as soon as possible are the best ways to keep yourself protected.
While there is no specific treatment for Post COVID Syndrome, breathing exercises, meditation, physical and mental therapy, medications and other treatments are all helpful in countering the persistence of Post COVID Syndrome. It is also advisable to regularly get a COVID Test done at a pathology lab near you to ensure and prevent COVID infection.
Any conversation around COVID is an open-ended one, and the same is true for Post COVID Syndrome as well. The answer to how long Post COVID Syndrome or long COVID can last remains unknown.
Since it has been a little over 2 years since the pandemic broke out, and there are a number of patients who have recovered in less than a year’s time, it’s difficult to predict the lifespan and the end of Post COVID Syndrome since our understanding of the virus and its extensions is developing by the day. With regular ongoing research, the answers to why only people experience Post COVID Syndrome, and how it poses threat to our organs in the long run, among other countless questions, remain to be answered.
However, the constancy of getting a COVID-19 Test done on a regular basis at any pathology lab near you stands as the best idea to avert all the havoc of SARS-CoV-2.
*All the information above is for educational purposes only. For medical advice, always consult a doctor or visit your nearest hospital.
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