Many patients, who have recovered from COVID-19, in different age groups, are suffering even now, from lingering side-effects of the virus. Some of them even have serious ailments of the lungs.
For almost one-third of the survivors, the suffering is just niggled, like fatigue, low-grade fever, nagging cough, and persistent headache, loss of smell and taste, or even bouts of diarrhea. For a small percentage of the survivors, like 5% to 10%, the side-effects are more serious. This can be ILD (Intestinal Lung disease) or lung fibrosis (lungs scarring) or even SLS (shrinking lung syndrome).
Those who are recuperating are forced to go for follow-ups tests to rule out the possibility of them being infectious. This tends to burden the test structure of the COVID-19. The isolation is further extended to anywhere between 10 to 14 days.
In accordance to the notifications of the central government and the state government, the median time for the illness from the onset to the recovery is two weeks for only the mild cases. This recovery time for the severe or even critical symptoms is anywhere between three weeks to six weeks.
A patient by the name of Akash Singh consulted his doctor after a 14day isolation period to find out if he could go back to his normal life. He was advised to keep a check on his temperature. He continued staying in isolation as he had a temperature of 99 for almost 9 days. He was asymptomatic but was scared of passing on the infection to his family.
He had another COVID-19 test that indicated that he was ‘negative’. The fever came back to normal without any medications.
There is another patient who has not yet got back her sense of smell and taste even after testing negative after three weeks.
There have been cases when after total recovery, the patient suddenly dies. This is because, during COVID-19, the total system suffers from a lack of oxygen. This may result in shrinking or scarring of the lungs. That is when; even after testing negative, the after-effects like reduced mobility or severe breathlessness might persist.
There are patients who have suffered from muscle loss and weight loss. There are cases where the patient has lost almost 10 kgs and is slow to recover.
Another big-time problem, especially with the elderly COVID-19 patients is depression and anxiety. Fear of ostracization and prolonged isolation seems to have hit them hard.
At present, there is very little research on the side-effects of this virus and you have patients sharing information with each other to get a better understanding of the virus.
This virus is different from any of the other coronaviruses and is definitely complicated. Research and studies are on full swing so that the world can better handle the situation. IT is advisable to follow the norms and the guidelines given by the government and also the health department to stay safe.
This will be managed but it is only a matter of time.