Coronavirus: How long COVID affects the body


1/11 People have been noticing the effects of long COVID even months after recovering from COVID

Coronavirus and its effect on the body have been our prime concern since 2020. Ever since the experts talked about the possibility of long COVID, our worries have peaked. As a matter of fact, long COVID does exist and its implications have been worrying health agencies and experts as well. People have been noticing the effects of long COVID even months after recovering from the coronavirus induced COVID.

2/11​What is long COVID?

When an individual experiences COVID related symptoms for a longer duration, even after recovery the individual is said to be experiencing long COVID symptoms. In these patients, though coronavirus is not there, its effects are visible after months.

03/11​What are the symptoms of long COVID?

The common symptoms of long COVID are fatigue, shortness of breath, cough, joint pain and chest pain, cognitive problems, difficulty concentrating, depression, muscle pain, headache, rapid heartbeat and intermittent fever as per the US Centres for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC). Health experts have found that the coronavirus can attack human organs at various degrees. It can impact the heart, nervous system, kidney, liver and organs. People are also experiencing mental health problems like grief, depression, fatigue and post-traumatic stress disorder.

04/11​How does long COVID affect the body?

Experts at John Hopkins Medicine have said that breathing issues, heart problems, kidney damage, lost or distorted sense of smell and taste, neurologic problem, autonomic nervous system issues, diabetes and mental health problems are the common long COVID effects on the human body.

“While the lungs are the first organs affected by COVID-19, we are learning that many organs beyond the lungs can be affected. Healthcare providers are reporting long-term impacts that may affect the heart, kidneys, skin and brain,” says the American Lung Association.

05/11​Breathing issues

This respiratory illness wreaks havoc on the nasal air passage of the human body during and after the COVID. Experts have said that severe cases of COVID can put a serious impact on the lungs of the body and it can take months to recover the lungs from the impact of COVID.

Some very common symptoms are: difficulty in breathing, dry cough, heavy breathing, and an increased heart rate.

06/11​Heart problems

Common symptoms of heart issues developing after COVID are palpitations due to shortness of breath and rapid heart rate.

“One study showed that 60% of people who recovered from COVID-19 had signs of ongoing heart inflammation, which could lead to the common symptoms of shortness of breath, palpitations and rapid heartbeat. This inflammation appeared even in those who had had a mild case of COVID-19 and who had no medical issues before they got sick,” say experts at John Hopkins Medicine.

07/11​Kidney damage

Cytokine storms, which are generated after the body’s exposure to the pathogen, when go out of proportion cause severe inflammation. Experts have linked this inflammatory reaction to damage of healthy tissues in various organs including the kidney.

08/11​Lost or distorted sense of smell and taste

Of all the symptoms COVID infection has shown, the most common ones are loss of smell and taste. Since it is a respiratory illness, the lost sense of smell and taste can be understood. But it is surprising to note that even after recovery many people do not recover their taste and smell even after months.

Some research studies have found that of all the people who experience long COVID in terms of loss of smell and taste there’s a 60% to 80% chance that these people will see improvement in their sense of smell within a year.

09/11​Neurological problem

Brain fog has been a major subject of discussion soon after the long COVID situation came to fore. Loss of concentration, fatigue, headache, dizziness and other such symptoms are being seen in people in the long run.

10/11​Autonomic nervous system issues

The autonomic nervous system is also affected in many people after getting infected with the coronavirus. Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome or POTS can leave survivors with other neurologic symptoms, including continuing headache, fatigue, brain fog, difficulties in thinking or concentrating, and insomnia, says a report carried by John Hopkins quoting an expert.

11/11​Mental health

The list is difficult to fill because mentally people have been affected by the COVID to such a large extent that it is difficult to fathom the exact symptoms. Due to frequent lockdowns and shutdowns people have been forced to remain isolated amidst gloomy situations. Long periods of isolation, work related stress, fear of the ever changing coronavirus has been detrimental to the mental well being of people.


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