The Covid-19 pandemic has proved to be terrible in more ways than one. People who were infected are finding that the disease does not go away that easily. Some people experience the effects of the virus for a long time, even after being cured.
This is known as Long Covid and refers to the fact that the Covid virus causes long-term effects on the body. Not all people suffer from this problem. While most people have no problems, some of them suffer for a long time with various symptoms.
If you had a question on how long covid stays in your body, you will know the answer by going through this guide. You will know all there is to know about Long Covid and its effects on the body.
What is Long Covid-19 Syndrome and how common is it?
Long Covid syndrome, also known as the post-Covid syndrome is a condition where people experience varying symptoms even after being cured of Covid-19. People experience these symptoms for up to 4 weeks after. Some people experience it for a much longer duration.
People experience these symptoms for up to a year after getting Covid. Whether you have had a mild form of Covid or severe symptoms, you may experience Long Covid-19 syndrome.
A startling fact about long Covid is that 5% to 50% of Covid-infected persons can get long Covid. A study showed that 1 in 5 persons aged from 18 to 64 experience one symptom related to Covid-19 for one month to one year after Covid. For those aged more than 65, the corresponding statistic is that 1 in 4 people experienced a Covid symptom for a long.
What are the symptoms of Long Covid-19 Syndrome?
1) General Symptoms
One of the most common long covid symptoms is fatigue. Among the general symptoms of Long Covid are fatigue, fever, and general malaise. People with long covid tend to feel tired very fast. They experience malaise with aches all over their body and also feel feverish.
Muscle aches are another general symptom people experience. This is a symptom they experience frequently. Apart from aches in the muscle, they may also experience pain in the joints.
2) Respiratory Symptoms
You may experience coughs after covid due to Long Covid. These coughs can be troublesome and be accompanied by other respiratory symptoms. Along with cough, the characteristic Covid symptom of feeling breathless may be experienced. Difficulty breathing is one of the troublesome symptoms of Long Covid.
Just like in Covid, in long Covid too people could experience loss of smell and taste. They may also experience a change in the sense of taste as well as smell. Chest tightness and pain are other symptoms that could crop up due to pressure in the lungs.
The answer to how long does covid sore throat last is 5 days. Usually, the sore throat resolves within 5 to a maximum of 8 days. After this, other respiratory symptoms may develop. While sore throat may be treated at home, if one experiences breathing problems they should immediately visit the doctor.
3) Neurological Symptoms
People with long covid tend to get various neurological symptoms. They develop ‘brain fog’, which is nothing but a feeling of sluggishness. People feel difficulty concentrating and don’t feel sharp. They find it difficult to think clearly. This is a classic symptom experienced by many long covid sufferers.
There are many other neurological symptoms that long Covid causes:
- Difficulty sleeping.
- A feeling of dizziness or being lightheaded when they stand up.
- Anxiety and nervousness.
- Mood changes can lead to depression.
- A feeling of pins and needles on the skin may be experienced.
4) Digestive Symptoms
Digestive problems are another troublesome aspect of long covid. They can experience stomach aches and diarrhoea. They may also experience a loss of appetite. All these are due to the effect of the virus on the digestive system organs.
Apart from the symptoms listed above, other symptoms people may experience include:
- Palpitations in the heart (being able to hear the heart thudding loudly).
- Rashes on the skin.
- Tinnitus or ringing sound in the ears.
- Some women experience changes in their menstrual cycle.
- A more serious symptom is a blood clot that could develop. The clot may even cause a pulmonary embolism.
- The most serious effect of long covid is on organs like the kidney or heart. Some people may experience serious and long-term damage to these vital organs.
How likely are you to get Long Covid-19 Syndrome?
Naturally, you may be worried about Long Covid-19 syndrome. The fact that these symptoms could last for many months is naturally worrying. When we look at data, we find that 5% to 50% of people could get long Covid after a Covid infection. This is too wide a range. There is a 50% to 95% chance that you WILL NOT get long covid. The chances of developing long covid are not very high.
If you have been hospitalized for covid, then the chances of long covid are more. The reason is that most data related to long covid comes from hospitalized people. For them, the risk of developing long covid is 50%. If you have been hospitalized before for COVID, then there is a likelihood you may get long covid.
Once covid recovery is complete, you need to take extra care of your health. Try to build your immunity by eating a healthy diet, exercising adequately, and doing all you can to avoid falling ill. This will help you reduce the risks of getting long covid. If you have had only mild symptoms of Covid before, then don’t worry. The chances of getting long covid are minimal. To be safe, make sure you are always wearing kn95 masks or kf94 masks. These protective masks will help reduce the spread of Covid-19.
Tips on how to manage Long Covid-19 Syndrome
1) Supervise your fatigueness
To manage your fatigue, you need to avoid over-exerting yourself. You need to understand you cannot do work or exercise at the same pace as you used to do before. Long Covid will make you feel tired very fast. If you try to exercise or work a bit hard, you will end up feeling exhausted.
Pace yourself to avoid over-exertion. Listen to your body and follow its signals. Take sufficient rest, so you do not suffer from fatigue. Don’t stop exercise, just reduce its intensity. Take short walks instead of long and brisk ones. Break down your work into blocks, so you can complete them comfortably without problems.
2) Encourage yourself for better mood and health
You may experience brain fog after covid. In such a scenario, you can be in a low mood and feel depressed. You need to work on improving your mood and mental health to cope with post covid anxiety and depression. Take care of your mental health by trying to remain happy.
Spend some time doing the activities you like the most. These can make your mind feel refreshed and help you get over your depression. Pursue a hobby, one that keeps you busy and doesn’t give you time to worry. Connect to people and take the support of family and friends to be in a good mood.
3) Manage your breathing
If you are breathless after recovering from covid, you need to strengthen your lungs. You need to practice breathing exercises and do them gently to strengthen your lungs. Practicing yoga can be helpful. It is very important that you gradually build up your exercise.
Don’t try to do too much. That will make you feel breathless. Take it easy and if you start feeling breathless, stop to rest for a while. It will take you some time to build up your strength. Have patience and take things easy. At the same time, don’t give up exercise that will worsen the problem. Do exercise at the time of the day when you feel strong and comfortable.
What should you do if you have Long Covid-19 Syndrome?
Here are some tips to help you manage Long Covid-19 symptoms better:
- Do not self-medicate. Meet a doctor and allow the doctor to suggest a treatment plan.
- Learn to take things easy. Avoid exerting yourself and pace yourself at work & exercise.
- Take sufficient rest. Don’t sleep for too long. Instead, take short periods of rest throughout the day.
- Prioritise your tasks, so you focus on what is important and stop worrying about deadlines.
- Take help and support from friends, family, and health practitioners including therapists.
Prevention is better than cure
You will be affected by Long Covid-19 Syndrome, only if you get Covid in the first place. Since prevention is better than cure, take precautions to avoid getting Covid. Get yourself prepared by stocking up on 3-ply surgical masks. If you can avoid being infected by COVID-19 then you need not worry about Long Covid.
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