COVID-19 was very quick to spread all across the globe – breaking all barriers and records. Many people around the world suffered from the disease in 2020, and the spread continues in 2021 as well. While the virus has been around for a year now, there is still the pressing question: what are the long-term side effects of COVID-19?
Recovering from COVID-19
For a majority of people who caught the deadly virus, recovery was complete within a few weeks. While it was dependent on a few factors such as the immunity and health of the individual as well as the severity of the virus, a large number of people have been able to fight their battle against the disease.
Even those who only suffered mild symptoms were able to see improvements in their conditions over the next few weeks. However, people are only now being able to report some of the more long-term implications of the coronavirus.
Common Side Effects
Even after recovering from COVID-19, the battle is not yet over. Some people are reporting long-term side effects such as fatigue and shortness of breath. The section of the population most affected by these long-term side effects are the elderly or those who had weak immune systems prior to catching the disease.
If you have contracted the COVID-19 virus, the following symptoms are known to persist weeks after testing negative:
- Pain in joints
- Sharp chest pain
- High heartrate
- Migraines and headaches
- Loss of taste and smell
- Problems with memory retention or concentration
- Hair loss
The Long-Term Effects of COVID-19
Apart from these common symptoms, other people have also reported damage in some of the vital organs in their body. While most people believe that COVID-19 is only a respiratory disease that could affect the lungs, it can actually spread through your entire body and cause problems in other organs as well. This includes:
1. Heart Damage
Research revealed that people who recovered from the COVID-19 disease continued to suffer damage to their heart muscle. While the reason behind this damage is still unknown, heart damage could increase the risk of a heart attack or cardiac arrest in the future.
As most people report having problems with memory and concentration during and after recovery from the coronavirus, there are certain long-term implications in the brain as well. In the younger population, COVID-19 was shown to increase their susceptibility towards strokes, seizures, or temporary paralysis. For the older population, the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease is heightened.
3. Mental Health
Even after recovering from COVID-19, many people report having high levels of anxiety and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to the near-death experience caused by the disease. The long-term implications on mental health can become severe over time if not treated effectively.
The Key Takeaway
Understanding the long-term side effects of COVID-19 will take multiple years of scientific research before anything can be concluded. For now, all we can do is try to keep ourselves healthy and safe from the virus for as long as possible.