The raging pandemic does not seem to go away any time soon. The only savior that remains is the vaccines. However, even after Covid-positive patients recover, there seems to be a danger lurking in the background. Researchers are conducting studies on the long-term effects of SARS-CoV-2 infections. New reports have revealed that people are still experiencing the symptoms of the long-term effects after 6-8 months. Some of the patients have reported fatigue, depression, and dyspnea.
More Than A Quarter Of People With COVID-19 Not Fully Recovered Even After 6–8 Months
The virus SARS-CoV-2 has impacted people all over the world. Healthcare facilities and the government are focusing on treating patients with acute strains of the disease. To a large extent, this approach has worked on reducing the load of the virus from the population. It is an initial pandemic response, that people have taken well.
However, the long-term effects still remain unknown. The symptoms can actually linger for months on an end. Recent studies that were revealed in various journals show that the long-lasting symptoms can last as long as 6-8 months on average.
COVID-19 – Long-term And Short-term Impact
The CDC or the Centers for Disease Control stated that those who get the virus could be reeling under its effects for a longer period than expected. There are all kinds of implications. Some people keep getting sick as an aftermath of the disease. While there are others who recover quickly and are asymptomatic. There are several terms that have cropped up today and describe the after-effects as Long Covid. The lingering issues include fatigue, pain, cognitive impairment, and cough.
Infectious disease expert Dr. William Schaffne, recalls the initial days of the pandemic. The whole medical fraternity was not sure how to handle it. However, the healthcare facilities seem to be in a better state today. In the beginning, there were fewer resources and a shortage of personal protective equipment or PPE kits. The state of affairs is much better now, however, the long-term studies are still underway.
Recent Data On Long-Term Effects
Several studies are conducted worldwide. Researches recently took place in Switzerland. The participants were from Zurich and had an infection between 27th February 2020 and 5th August 2020. The other criteria were an age limit of 18 years and a knowledge of the German language. This was to ensure that the participants were able to follow the test guidelines. A total of 430 people were taken as samples. The research used electronic self-reporting questionaries.
The tests were conducted after 6-8 months after the recovery of the infected individuals. The following were observed:
- The participant’s recovery level
- The presence of fatigue, cough, and depression
- The level of contact of the individuals with doctors and primary healthcare providers
The researchers also collected data on the participants’ socio-demographic status, comorbidities, and other risk factors. Various models of assessment were used. They include Fatigue Assessment Scale, 21-Item Depression, and Anxiety Scale, and many more. On average 19 percent of participants had spent nearly a week each in hospitals. 89 percent shows symptoms of the disease. Even after 6-8 months, many reported the side effects as stated above.
The results showed:
- 26 percent of participants said they had the side effects after 6-8 months.
- 55 percent suffered from fatigue.
- 26 percent showed depression.
Over and above the results, there are certain limitations that every research faces. Those included in the study had contracted the infection during the first wave. The healthcare facilities were not that good. It improved with time, over one year. So, the results could have been better, if a recent sample was taken. The researchers also did not have baseline health data of the participants. Finally, the participant’s knowledge regarding the handling procedures was also inadequate. So, it might have affected the results.
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