COVID’s Long Term Problems

We do not understand the long term problems of catching COVD-19. However, we do know that a significant number of COVID-19 patients do not fully recover. These patients are known as “long-haulers”.  Long haulers suffer from debilitating symptoms months after their initial infection. Many long-haulers with long-term symptoms are young and healthy with no pre-existing conditions. Data from the American Academy of Pediatrics proves that corona-virus-related hospitalizations and deaths of children and teens are on the rise.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report showed that long haulers experience ongoing symptoms, such as fatigue, headaches, and cough. The symptoms make it hard to concentrate, exercise, or perform simple physical tasks. The report shows that a third of patients who were never hospitalized are not back to their usual health for months. The patients reported lasting symptoms in the CDC report. 71 percent reported fatigue, 61 percent had lasting cough, and 61 percent reported ongoing headaches.

Covid-19 also permanently injures the heart. It causes long-term damage after people recover. Two studies published in JAMA Cardiology show abnormal heart imaging findings in recently recovered infected patients. This was true even if they were never hospitalized for Covid. One study examined the cardiac MRIs of 100 people who had recovered from Covid-19 and compared them to 100 people who were similar but not infected. Months later, infected patients were more likely to have troubling cardiac signs than people in the control group.

COVID’s long term problems may never be fully understood.  The chronic issues that result may increase deaths for years to come. But the possibility of a vaccine rollout in late October or early November has heightened concerns that the Trump administration is rushing before Election Day on Nov. 3.