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After Effects of COVID-19, All you Need to Know

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After Effects of COVID-19: December 2019 was the month, when the outbreak of pneumonia cases was reported in Wuhan, China. After research and development, on 7th January 2020, then called 2019-nCoV Virus was isolated from the affected samples. The 2019-nCoV virus was the reason for this pneumatic disease outbreak in the Republic of China and by January 2020 in other countries too.

On 11th February 2020 the disease was named as COVID-19 short form of Corona Virus Disease 2019 and now the virus is called as SARS-CoV-2 (SARS- Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). This disease made a history of worldwide lock down for straight 3 months.

Statistics Today

According to WHO’s Corona Disease Dashboard, COVID-19 has affected people of 220 countries and more than 6.3 crore individuals have been tested positive for this disease out of which more than 14 lacs individual have lost their lives. India has Witnessed 95 lacs corona cases from which a good number of 89 lacs individuals have been recovered from the disease. Surely more than 90% of the affected population has been recovered from this havoc, but are they really fit now?

After Effects of COVID-19 on Human body

According to studies 80% of recovered population shows post COVID-19 symptoms. WHO suggests from 10%-15% of recovered individuals are showing sever diseases and 5% are critically ill.

The post COVID-19 symptoms can be experienced from 2-6 weeks or in some cases more than 6 weeks. The symptoms are majorly divided into Mild Post COVID-19 Symptoms and Major Post COVID-19 Symptoms.

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Mild Post COVID-19 Symptoms

●Chronic Dry Cough
●Fever
●Fatigue
●Body pain and joint pain
●Weakness etc.

Major Post COVID-19 Symptoms

●Pulmonary Fibrosis and other lung problem
●Cytokine Storm and MIC
●Thromboembolism
●Brain Fog and other neurological Conditions
●Cardiopathy and other heart problems

Let’s take a brief look into each of the above mentioned Major Post COVID-19 Symptoms

Pulmonary Fibrosis

When your body’s immune system has won the war against SARS-CoV-2, it’s still in the process of healing itself specially the lungs and the respiratory tract where the damage was the most. It’s known to the lay man also that healing is consists of scaring (building up extra Collagen on the wound) of the affected tissue. In a normal case scaring is good and healthy and restores the previous architecture of the tissue. But in the case of fibrosis, excessive collagen deposition happens which impacts in a reverse manner and destroys the normal architecture of tissue. When this takes place in lungs, they get damage again and exchange of gasses (Oxygen and CO²) is hindered causing decreased supply of oxygen to the body. Now again the patient needs medical attention.

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Cytokine Storm

Cytokines are a large groups of proteins and peptides which are secreted by specific cells of immune system. These protein molecules mediate and regulate immunity and inflammation in our body. They are released into the system in reaction towards any foreign body entry or even in formation of tumour. Basically they are the signaling molecules of our immunity system.

When the affected body is reacting towards SARS-CoV-2 virus, it is releasing the Cytokines to signal and regulate the immunity system and even the clinical program which is designed for the patients, is immunity boost oriented. In normal case the patient will have a boosted immunity and will overcome the virus. But in some cases the patient developed an enormous amount of Cytokines which are inflammatory in nature, and the condition is called Cytokine Storm or Cytokine Release Syndrome. Which lead to Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIC) in adults and children. MIC damages various organs like liver, kidneys, eyes, lungs etc. at once and can lead to death of the patient. In many COVID-19 survivors, the condition is discovered after their release from the hospital but in some survivor the conditions have just prolonged even after the patient has won against SARS-COV-2 Virus.

Thromboembolism

Thromboembolism is a condition in which something causes blood to coagulate unnecessary and in excessive ammount and the blood clots block the blood flow specially in thinner blood vessels (capillaries).

In most of the autopsies of COVID-19 patients it was clear that SARS-COV-2 virus is also causing blood coagulations. Coagulation of blood is also a defence mechanism of body and it can be result of induced immune boost too. The conditions did exist during the patient’s tenure in the hospital or isolation but now a small part of recovered patients is still experiencing Thromboembolism which could also lead to decreased blood supply to other parts of body and can be fatal.

Brain Fog and Other Neurological Conditions

Some of the recovered patients are diagnosed with anxiety and stress. They are also complaining about loss of smell and brain fog, a short term dementia with confusion. Few doctors are suggesting it can be because of PTSD from the disease. There are other neurological complications which are developing because of decreased blood supply to brain and spinal chord

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Cardiopathy and Other Heart Problems

Cardiopathy is a condition, where the heart muscles become thick and stiff making it difficult for heart to pump properly and can lead to cardiac arrest. This is either caused by the virus itself or because of inflammatory reaction towards the virus. These conditions were present during the treatment but they became lingering complications even after the patient was recovered from COVID-19.

There are still many post COVID-19 complications which are not discovered yet as we have seen different body reacts differently in the presence of this virus. So the war with this virus is still going on and it will continue for few more years. We can decrease those years by taking care of ourselves, obeying the rules made for COVID-19 era like wearing masks and social distancing. We should help the society by getting diagnosed on any symptom of COVID-19 because early diagnosis ensures early treatment and also less damage to the body.

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By any chance if you think you have any of these post COVID-19 Complications but you were never tested positive for SARS-COV-2 Virus then you can always take the antibody test and confirm it and take required medical care of yourself and your loved ones.

Ministry of Health and Welfare helpline no. 1075 or 011-23978046.

Written By Shreya Kulkarni, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh

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