Surviving COVID-19 Is it the end of a battle or beginning of another one
Dr Th Hrishikesh (MBBS)
Just like a child with no surety of what the future awaits him, the course of the COVID-19 pandemic is very uncertain. New symptoms are adding up in association with COVID-19 infections as it evolves into new variants with time as well as in post-COVID-19 period. It is still unclear what kind of post complications will the recovered patients have in the long run. The data we have is not sufficient to predict anything regarding this matter as of now.
As we are very familiar with COVID-19 infections and transmission, we now need to give equal emphasis on the post-COVID-19 period also. It is not about instilling a sense of fear amongst the public but for precautionary measures that should be adopted to avoid and minimise unwanted mortality and morbidity in the long run. After recovering from COVID-19 infection, depending on individual to individual some mild symptoms may persist like fatigue, loss of taste or smell, body pain, headache, concentration deficit, brain fog, breathlessness, cough etc. If any of these symptoms appear within 4 to 12 weeks, it is known as Post-acute COVID-19 Syndrome and if the symptoms still persist after 12 weeks, it is considered as Post- COVID Syndrome. The symptomatic treatment is usually given and it will be a wise decision to keep in touch with medical team and seek advice irrespective of severity of sign and symptoms. Some unwanted complications may also occur such as pulmonary which may include severe pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, pulmonary embolism and extra pulmonary such as stroke, acute kidney injury, cardiac arrests, hyperglycaemia, fungal infections like mucormycosisetc as well in the mental sphere like post traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety which may be due to the experience of suffering as well stigma and discrimination that are attached with COVID-19 patients.
If one finds swelling of limbs, breathlessness, burning sensation on the chest or chest pain, headache then it is advisable to seek immediate medical help as it may be the warning sign of embolism which may prove to be fatal in serious cases.
Irrespective of whether you are fully recovered without persistent symptoms or with Post-COVID Syndrome it is vital that your health indexes are monitored and adopt these routines on priority basis:
(To be contd)