All you need to know about long spell of COVID-19

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Highlights

  • Long COVID-19 refers to a range of symptoms, lasting for a more extended period, experienced by people following their COVID-19 infection.
  • Most of the people with post-COVID-19 syndrome get negative results on the PCR test.
  • According to a study by the UK Health Security Agency, vaccinated people have fewer chances of getting long spells of COVID-19 than unvaccinated ones.

Coronavirus infection can lead to several short- and long-term symptoms. Those with a sound immune system recover in a short period, while others deal with its long-term symptoms.

Long COVID-19 refers to a range of symptoms, lasting for a more extended period, experienced by people following their COVID-19 infection. Some people show signs of COVID-19 for weeks and even months after their recovery. Experts have termed it post-acute sequelae SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC).

A long spell of COVID-19 is also called “post-COVID syndrome”. It can be constant or reverting in nature. Most of the people with post-COVID-19 syndrome get negative results on a PCR test. This indicates microbiological recovery; however, the person hasn’t recovered clinically, and his body has still not recovered from physical stress.

Do read: Covid-19 cases decline, deaths stabilise- how does the pandemic look now?

What does research say?

A research report showed that 87% of the people who recovered from COVID-19 showed at least one symptom even after 60 days. Fatigue was the most reported problem, followed by a decreased quality of life, joint pain, and chest pain. Many patients also reported pins and needles sensation in the skin. Another study found that patients recovering from COVID-19 experience breathing difficulty and excessive fatigue even after three months.

The exact reasons behind the persistence of symptoms have not been identified yet. Reasons can vary from organ damage results, persisting chronic inflammation, immune response and adverse effects of medication. COVID-19 virus can damage vital organs like brain, heart, and lungs, increasing the risk of long-term health problems.  

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According to a UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) study, vaccinated people have fewer chances of getting long spells of COVID-19 than unvaccinated ones. The study reported that people who received only one dose or were unvaccinated were more likely to have COVID-19 symptoms for more than 28 days. People in the age group of sixty years and above showed more response to the COVID-19 vaccine in terms of post-COVID-19 symptoms than people aged 19 to 35 years.

According to Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at the UKHSA, these studies highlight potential benefits of getting a full dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Getting a vaccination is the best way of protection and can reduce the longer-term effect of COVID-19.

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Also read: How to boost your immunity and maintain distance from pathogens?


 


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