Post-COVID Syndrome: 87% have Lingering Symptoms
In most US areas, COVID-19 has shown little sign of stopping its rampage across the country. While many continue to recover, even more continue to contract the novel coronavirus. As of the time this was written, the Johns Hopkins University's COVID-19 tracker has reported over 5.5 million positive cases in the United States, and nearly 175,000 deaths.
However, what does recovery from COVID-19 really look like? According to the World Health Organization, the average recovery time for COVID-19 is two weeks for a mild case, and nearly six to eight weeks of recovery for severe cases.
As time passes for those who have recovered, many have begun to report lingering symptoms that continue to impact their daily life and well-being for months. Enough individuals have experienced ongoing symptoms to garner a new moniker: Post-Covid Syndrome.
What Is Post-Covid Syndrome?
As with any disease or illness, the physical symptoms and physical effects can linger long after an individual has been deemed non-contagious and returns to daily life. Although a person may be officially on the other side of the COVID-19 virus, ongoing symptoms can make it difficult to return to a normal routine.
Some early studies have shown a similar response in those recovering from COVID-19 as those who experience an autoimmune response from Guillain-Barré syndrome and other autoimmune diseases. Some experts suspect that individuals who experience severe cases of COVID-19 may experience long-term symptoms
Symptoms of Post-COVID Syndrome
As individuals who are fighting the live virus begin to recover from COVID-19, symptoms of the virus may go away with new symptoms showing up. One study found that 87% of people who recovered from coronavirus still have at least one symptom that persists.
Symptoms of the active virus include:
- Loss of taste or smell
- Difficulty breathing
- Gastrointestinal symptoms, and others
However, some patients report continued symptoms following the infection period, after they test negative. Post-virus symptoms may include:
- Lingering aches and pains
- Brain fog
- Intense fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- Elevated heart rate
- Mood disturbances
As COVID-19 is still a novel disease, researchers are still trying to get a grasp on the long-term effects of the virus on the immune, cardiovascular, and other vital systems in the body.
Are Those Experiencing Post-COVID Syndrome Still Contagious?
Fortunately, the research points to encouraging data that shows individuals are no longer infectious once the virus runs its original course. Even though individuals may show symptoms similar to COVID-19 for some time after their initial bout with the virus, they are unlikely to infect others.
The best step that those experiencing Post-COVID Syndrome symptoms can take is to be tested for COVID-19 a few weeks after initially testing positive. As always, social distancing measures should still be observed to encourage the safety of everyone.
How Long Does Post-COVID Syndrome Last?
Unfortunately, not enough time has passed for ample research to be conducted on long-term Post-COVID Syndrome effects.
What You Can Do To Feel Better
The best thing to do if you are experiencing symptoms related to Post-COVID syndrome is to keep in close contact with your doctor and work through issues one by one. As many of the lingering issues seem similar to that of a COVID-19 infection, the same treatment measures can help alleviate Post-COVID Syndrome symptoms.
Continue to care for yourself following the Center for Disease Control guidelines:
- Continue to monitor your symptoms. If you begin to notice a worsening of your daily symptoms, you may need to contact your doctor for additional tests that may point to other underlying issues made worse by COVID-19
- Continue to get adequate rest and be sure to drink plenty of water
- Consider natural pain relievers to help with any pain and related symptoms
- Clean up your diet to encourage your body to heal itself
- Practice deep breathing exercises or yoga to strengthen the lungs