Health & Fitness What are the long-term effects of coronavirus? A doctor explains
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When previous generations passed into adulthood, rites of passage signalled the start of a new and hopeful horizon, whether learning to drive, going to university, getting your first full-time job or taking time out to travel the world. .But sadly for young people today the world they are emerging into is one where instability, uncertainty and sparse opportunity is the new normal.
Most people who contract the(COVID-19) will within a few weeks. However, new research reveals that some people, even those with mild symptoms, may experience lingering health problems after their initial recovery.
These long-term effects ofmay persist for several months and could lead to permanent damage to a person’s lungs, brain and heart. They may also increase a person’s risk of developing other long-term health conditions, such as .
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, Consultant in Rheumatology and Sports & Exercise Medicine at The Wellington Hospital, part of , looks at the long-term effects of coronavirus and offers expert advice to help you recover quicker:
What are the long-term effects of COVID-19?
As a result of the findings from theat The Wellington Hospital and Harley Street Clinic, we’ve been able to identify a variety of different long-term effects of COVID-19.
Some of these can include, long-term lung or cardiac damage, where patients who tend to have been admitted to an intensive care unit, might then experience damage to their heart muscle or lungs as a result of the virus.
We’re also finding people are suffering from neurological problems, which can affect their brain and spinal cord, and some who start to develop similar symptoms to, and suffer with chronic fatigue.
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COVID-19 can also affect people’s mental health, with it being a new and prominent illness in today’s society there is a lot of fear and concern surrounding it, it can therefore negatively affect people’s mental health as well as their physical health.
COVID-19 long-term symptoms
Some of the signs and symptoms to look out for that might indicate you could be suffering from long term effects of COVID-19 are as follows:
- Heart palpitations
- Fast heart rate
- Muscle and joint pain
- Brain fog
- Occasionally numbness and pins and needles
COVID-19 long-term risk factors
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There are a number of different risk factors associated with COVID-19. An interesting study byhas recently been published highlighting the following factors which could lead to long-term effects:
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- Women are more likely to suffer from long-term COVID-19 symptoms, but only those who are in a younger age group.
- Those who already suffer with .
- People who have a higher BMI.
- Older people are more likely to suffer from long term COVID-19 effects.
How to minimise COVID-19 long-term
Long-term COVID-19 effects can be manifested in several different conditions, however, so far it appears that the best way of prevention is early intervention, especially for those who have been admitted to hospital for COVID-19.
It is really important to continue to monitor symptoms so that if someone is still experiencing long-term effects of COVID-19 that they know they should seek medical advice.
COVID-19 recovery advice
To minimise long-term COVID-19 effects and recover quicker, devise a realistic recovery plan with your health advisor and try the following advice:
✔️ Take it slow
It’s important not to put too much pressure on yourself after recovering from a viral illness like COVID-19, as doing too much too soon can lead to a downward spiral at both an emotional and physical level.
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Luke Hutchinson, 44, volunteered to participate in Moderna's coronavirus vaccine trial. He developed a fever, aches that left him bedridden for the day and with chills so bad he cracked a tooth.Coronavirus vaccines might leave us laid up for a day with headaches, fevers, sore muscles, shivering chills and no energy, participants in trials for Moderna's and Pfizer's shots told CNBC.
✔️ Increase physical activity gradually
When it comes to physical activity, if you were doingbefore you caught COVID-19, then don’t put too much pressure on your body to be able to resume your usual activity. It’s best to slowly increase your physical activity (starting at the level you are able to do now and not based on what you were able to do pre-COVID-19) gradually and build your strength and stamina back up very gradually while monitoring the response to this.
✔️ Try a phased return to work
It can also be difficult if you work in a very high pressured job to return to work straight away, therefore it might be wise have a phased return to work so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
✔️ Discuss your path to recovery with your GP
Seek medical advice and discuss a realistic recovery time with your doctor. If you’re still suffering from long-term effects a path to recovery is crucial.
Last updated: 29-10-2020
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