Less than a year after the novel coronavirus became a global pandemic, doctors and scientists are only beginning to learn what symptoms might linger after recovery. Yet it’s already clear that some patients are suffering from long-term conditions caused by their battle with COVID-19.
In a research paper published by the University of Pennsylvania, many signs of long-term COVID were revealed. Though Dr. Robert Kotloff, Director of Penn University’s Harron Lung Center, noted that there’s a great deal more to discover about chronic COVID-linked conditions. “We’re much better equipped to understand and treat the immediate complications of the infection. But we’re still learning about the patients who are beyond the acute infection and what lingering issues they’re going to have to deal with.”
There are at least nine symptoms that have emerged from this and other research as signs you’ve caught long-term COVID. Keep reading to learn what those signs are and why they may be hard to overcome. People who have or develop these symptoms well after recovery might deal with them for months or even years.
9. Trouble Swallowing
Post-recovery patients who suffered severe illness from COVID likely spent prolonged time hooked up to a ventilator. A common lasting symptom among this group is difficulty swallowing, due to prolonged use of ventilator tubing.
However, this lasting symptom is common with a wide variety of ICU patients, not just those with COVID-19. “We call this post-intensive care syndrome,” said Dr. Kotloff. Difficulty swallowing is part of a group of symptoms these patients often suffer from long after recovering from severe illnesses like influenza, sepsis, and now also coronavirus.
8. Profound Fatigue
Another sign you may have caught long-term COVID is having bouts of profound fatigue or weakness. This is especially true of the patients who spent a prolonged period in a hospital bed, where some of their muscles may have atrophied.
According to Dr. Kim Barker, Associate Professor for the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at UT Southwestern, the average hospital patient with COVID-19 stays in bed about eight days. She explained in her article for UT Southwestern Medical Center that after eight days “a patient could lose 12% of their muscle strength.” Get the best sleep with these moisture-wicking pillows.