How Does COVID-19 Affect the Body?

Picture of COVID-19 molecules.Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more information has come out regarding the effects that the virus can have on the body. In this article, PhysicianOne Urgent Care discusses the symptoms that someone may experience during an active infection, as well as the complications that may arise at some point in the future.

COVID-19 Symptoms

COVID-19 commonly affects the respiratory system, producing symptoms such as coughing, difficulty breathing, and shortness of breath. But the lungs aren’t the only area of the body that can be affected—the following symptoms can also occur within two to 14 days after someone is exposed to the COVID-19 virus:

  • Fever with chills
  • Fatigue
  • Headache, muscle aches, and body aches
  • Congestion, runny nose, and sore throat
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • A sudden loss of taste and smell

Although these symptoms will typically resolve within just a few weeks, some COVID-19 patients continue experiencing issues for months (a condition commonly referred to as “post-COVID-19 syndrome,” “long COVID-19,” or “chronic COVID-19”). In addition to the above list of symptoms, someone with this condition may also experience:

  • An increase in their heart rate
  • Lightheadedness upon standing
  • Stomach pain
  • A rash
  • Difficulty concentrating and remembering things
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Menstrual cycle changes (for women)

Potential Long-Term Complications

It’s still too early to know exactly what long-term effects COVID-19 may have on the body. However, studies have shown that COVID-19 patients may be at risk of developing issues such as:

  • Blood clots
  • Weakened blood vessels
  • Organ damage
  • Multisystem inflammatory syndrome
  • Depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

COVID-19 Testing Near You

If you’re experiencing any of the COVID-19 symptoms listed above, you should get tested to confirm whether you’ve been infected with the virus. Luckily, if you live in certain areas of Connecticut, Massachusetts, or New York, you won’t need to go far for your test. That’s because PhysicianOne Urgent Care offers two types of COVID-19 tests, both of which are conducted using a nasopharyngeal swab:

  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests – This test looks for the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. PCR tests tend to be much more accurate than rapid antigen tests and are commonly referred to as the “gold standard” of COVID-19 testing.
  • Rapid antigen tests – This test looks for protein fragments specific to the COVID-19 virus. Although rapid antigen tests are more likely than PCR tests to produce false negatives and false positives, results are often available sooner.

Notably, if you think you may have been infected with COVID-19 in the past, you can opt to undergo an antibody test, which can detect a previous infection.

To find out whether PhysicianOne Urgent Care has a location near you, click here. And if you’re not sure whether a test is truly necessary, you can schedule a telehealth virtual visit with one of the experienced providers on our team—once they’ve learned about your medical history and symptoms, they’ll be able to let you know whether you should visit one of our offices for an in-person test (in which case your test would be prioritized upon your arrival). Call us at 860-650-3848 with any questions.

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