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COVID longterm effects

According to the Mayo Clinic, COVID-19 symptoms can sometimes persist for months. The virus can damage the lungs, heart and brain, which increases the risk of long-term health problems.

Most people who have coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) recover completely within a few weeks. But some people — even those who had mild versions of the disease — continue to experience symptoms after their initial recovery.

These people sometimes describe themselves as 'long haulers' and the conditions have been called post-COVID-19 syndrome or 'long COVID-19.' These health issues are sometimes called post-COVID-19 conditions. They're generally considered to be effects of COVID-19 that persist for more than four weeks after you've been diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus. Older people and people with many serious medical conditions are the most likely to experience lingering COVID-19 symptoms, but even young, otherwise healthy people can feel unwell for weeks to months after infection. Common signs and symptoms that linger over time include:

•Fatigue

•Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

•Cough

•Joint pain

•Chest pain

•Memory, concentration or sleep problems

•Muscle pain or headache

•Fast or pounding heartbeat

•Loss of smell or taste

•Depression or anxiety

•Fever

•Dizziness when you stand

•Worsened symptoms after physical or mental activities Organ damage caused by COVID-19 Although COVID-19 is seen as a disease that primarily affects the lungs, it can also damage many other organs, including the heart, kidneys and the brain. Organ damage may lead to health complications that linger after COVID19 illness. In some people, lasting health effects may include long-term breathing problems, heart complications, chronic kidney impairment, stroke and Guillain-Barre syndrome — a condition that causes temporary paralysis.

Some adults and children experience multisystem inflammatory syndrome after they have had COVID-19. In this condition, some organs and tissues become severely inflamed.

Many long-term COVID-19 effects still unknown Much is still unknown about how COVID-19 will affect people over time, but research is ongoing. Researchers recommend that doctors closely monitor people who have had COVID-19 to see how their organs are functioning after recovery.

Many large medical centers are opening specialized clinics to provide care for people who have persistent symptoms or related illnesses after they recover from COVID-19. Support groups are available as well.

It's important to remember that most people who have COVID-19 recover quickly. But the potentially long-lasting problems from COVID-19 make it even more important to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by following precautions. Precautions include wearing masks, social distancing, avoiding crowds, getting a vaccine when available and keeping hands clean.

In the U.S., there has been an increase in reported cases of myocarditis and pericarditis after mRNA COVID19 vaccination, particularly in male adolescents and young adults age 16 and older. Myocarditis is the inflammation of the heart muscle, while pericarditis is the inflammation of the lining outside the heart. These reports are rare. The CDC is investigating to see if there is any relationship to COVID-19 vaccination.

Information courtesy of the Mayo Clinic, found at mayoclinic. org

November 16, 2021