Time when the grip of fear of infection is getting tighter, a number of patients are reporting with multiple health issues post COVID recovery. The situation may seem complex but seeks immediate attention and valid information in regards to Post COVID Syndrome. While the list of comprehensive effects of COVID infection on human body is on rapid increase it also very much clear that COVID is not a mere respiratory infection. It potentially affects blood vessels, immunity etc. in a complex way which may ultimately result in multiple diseases. Almost every department of hospitals are witnessing such patients.As per estimation after getting their COVID report negative around 20 to 30 percent patients are reporting with overall such problems.
Dr. Sauren Panja, Senior Consultant, HOD, Critical Care, Rabindranath Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences discusses about its magnitude, he said that, “instead of getting panic we need to understand the basic mechanism, and deal with the situation. A number of patients are reporting with multiple health issues within 2 to 3 months after getting their COVID report negative. First of all as COVID primarily attacks respiratory tract, it may leave breathing difficulty even after post COVID recovery, in severe cases it is also resulting in pulmonary fibrosis, which may even leave patients on oxygen support as those damaged tissues of lungs cannot be recovered. In some cases patients may develop chronic pulmonary thromboembolic disease causing right side heart failure with severe future cardiorespiratory disability. Same way many other lungs issues are being reported post COVID infection. In some cases due to weak nervous system and weak respiratory functioning patients are developing respiratory muscle problems to even respiratory failure as well.”
He further added, “As in some cases patients undergoing COVID treatment need to be in ICU or mechanical or artificial life support they may have higher chances of getting such severe post COVID issues. Also asymptomatic home quarantined patients need to be aware as its prolonged effects may occur gradually. Now being respiratory and cardiac functioning interrelated cardiology departments are also witnessing patients with multiple cardiac issues after COVID recovery. In many cases the diminishing cardiac health, chest pain are some of the reported symptoms. Here cardiac mechanical problems may lead to poor pumping as well. Also even weaken nervous system causes cardiac issues like arrhythmia, decreased or fast heart rate.”
Talking more about weak blood vessels and affected nervous system caused by COVID infection resulting in diverse diseases and symptoms Dr. Sauren said that, “As COVID infection also severely affects blood vessels, in process it is affecting coronary blood vessels that may result in acute heart attack. These weak blood vessels are leaving and aggravating neurological issues. Patients coming under such category are reporting with mild headaches to severe stroke etc. The guillain barre syndrome is also occurring in some cases; it is a rare condition but severely affects nerves and immune system and leads even to paralysis in serious conditions and also becomes life threatening. Patients may also complain with low BP and weak muscles. COVID also massively affects immune system and immunity compromised patients are prone to any infection, hence post COVID recovery a number of patients are easily catching other infectious diseases. At times with severe condition weaker immunity aggravates even the mild symptoms of any disease”.
Such prolonged COVID treatments are leading some patients to traumatic phase as well which may also be due to psychological as loss of hope and unknown fear is also very high. Considering the tough time we are living in, it is also adding to the problem. Up to some extent the mental tension, fear of uncertainty is psychologically affecting COVID patients. It is also aggravating mental health issues. And all the multiple effects mentioned above combined are resulting in huge number of post recovery issues some of them may even develop gradually over a period of time. Post COVID recovery patients are even reporting with ENT issues, skin problems, hair loss, hearing loss, forgetfulness, and abnormal body postures, persistent fatigue and even fibromyalgia, AIDT syndrome etc. While a number of occurred diseases are irreversible, some of them are entirely curable. So what is the solution further?
It is wise to go for regular checkups even post COVID recovery and catch the disease at initial stage if persists. We are living in a pandemic; hence we primarily need patience, right information and also positive approach towards life. Time has come that we ensure our overall wellbeing instead of only safety from infection. Follow doctors’ every suggestion if going under the treatment of COVID, also even after COVID recovery report to the doctor even if mild symptoms occur, so that treatment is ensured at initial level in order to reduce the risks further. Take every required precautionary measure to ensure safety from infection and follow WHO guidelines.