Currently, more than 21 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 around the world and that number is growing at a staggering rate. In the United States, so far almost 190,000 have died from the deadly virus.
Even those who recover often face long-term effects of COVID-19. Research is continuing to evolve and those who have recovered from the virus are reporting that the side effects appear to be much longer than the initial illness. People who are coping with the long-term effects of COVID-19 are being referred to as “long haulers”.
According to Robert Kotloff, M.D., professor of clinical medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and director of the Harron Long Center, “With COVID, the recovery period seems to be [longer than with other, similar illnesses.] It seems to be taking patients at least several weeks, and in some cases several months, to really get back to feeling good again.”
8. The Long-Term Effects of COVID-19
Individuals with a “mild” case of COVID-19 take about two weeks to fully recover, according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO). However, a severe or critical case can take up to six weeks before the sufferer feels like they have fully recovered. It has been noted by medical experts that some patients end up in a state of limbo and their symptoms persist for months even if they are no longer contagious. Some are still reporting symptoms after 120 days.
People with long-term symptoms continue to experience shortness of breath, fatigue, and a cough. Such long-term effects from a virus are uncharacteristic of most. In fact, with a bacterial infection, most symptoms clear up within a week or two.
7. Persistent Symptoms of COVID-19
Everyone is different, but the medical experts at Indiana University’s School of Medicine have noticed some common symptoms that persist in the long hauler:
- Muscle or body aches
- Brain fog
- Difficulty breathing
- Concentration issues
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Inability to perform any type of exercise
- Feeling physically unable to be active
- Memory problems
- Difficulty sleeping
- Pressure in the chest
- Heart palpitations
- Joint pain