Most people get over COVID-19 within a couple of weeks. Yet, a more diminutive group of survivors, about 10 percent, experience long-term health issues for four weeks or more prolonged. A CDC study found that 1 in 5 young adults who fought off Covid have long-term symptoms weeks after testing negative.
A Mild Case Can Stay Long With Symptoms
While battling the coronavirus, one woman assumed her body would treat it just like the flu - puke for a few weeks then recover. After over eight months, she's indicated that she is still struggling to catch her breath and gets lightheaded most days.
The National Institute of Health marked a good range of symptoms that include fatigue, shortness of breath, and "brain fog." A national magazine sought out long-haulers who also describe a spectrum of symptoms with gastrointestinal distress, persistent pain, and a rapid pulse.
The University of Washington just-completed a study that found out of 177 people deemed post-Covid, approximately 30% reported "persistent" symptoms even after nine months of having recovered.
Still Much is Unknown
Another stressful phase of long-haul COVID is how little the medical field knows about it and how dramatically it impacts many people with debilitating symptoms. There are yet no accepted protocols or guidelines for treating long-haul post-Covid. The Centers for Disease Control in the U.S. recently considered that likelihood in meetings.
Can Getting Vaccinated Help Long-Haul Covid, Patients
Some people affected by long COVID have found significant symptom relief after the initial dose of their COVID-19 vaccine. However, the question is still unsettled on whether that is the case for most so-called long-haulers.
In an informal study by the Body Politic Slack group, an association tracking Covid-19 long-haulers who took the vaccine two weeks ago or longer, 27% said their long-haul COVID symptoms are slightly better. 14% said their symptoms were slightly more serious. About 5% felt almost back to normal, and only 3.8% felt much worse than previous.
The Tie Between Gastroesophageal Acid Reflux and Covid
One 50-year-old woman went on a course of steroids and other medications to scale back swelling. She started seeing a pulmonologist for her shortness of breath and pain. Her doctor tools the unusual step of treating her for acid reflux. Gastrointestinal difficulties like GERD (gastroesophageal acid reflux) are less-known but fairly common signs among COVID-19 patients. Apparently, acid was aspirating into the woman's lungs, and that’s what was causing the shortness of breath. Once her acid reflux was treated, she saw a reduction in her breathing problems.
Effects on Mental Health
Doctors indicate that mental health can be an issue, too, says Kathleen Bell, MD, a professor and chair of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas.
For those patients who had severe Covid, it’s being called Post-ICU syndrome. This state can involve physical, mental, and emotional symptoms such as depression, memory issues, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from experience.
Even those who had a mild case of Covid can suffer too. The lingering pain, breathing issues, and seemingly lack of knowledge of exactly what to do in the general medical practices can create anxiety and depression as the convalescent long-haul strived to return to a sense of normalcy.
The Devastating Impact is Real for Many
One story by a 27-year-old Michigan man was telling. After recovering from a mild case of Covid, he was still experiencing severe symptoms. He went from doctor to doctor, looking for answers. He was fired from his job because he was unable to work. His story, “I Managed Surviving Covid 19, But It’s Still Affecting Me Six Months Later,” outlines one of the typical experiences with a long-haul recovery.