What Are Some Potential Long-Term Effects of COVID-19?

Picture of a woman sitting on a couch and holding her neck in pain.If you or a loved one had COVID-19, you’re probably concerned about the long-term effects of this virus. Unfortunately, because the pandemic occurred so recently, not enough time has passed to know exactly what issues might arise down the road. (Rest assured that researchers are diligently working on uncovering this information, and will keep the public updated on any new developments!) With that being said, here are a few potential long-term effects of COVID-19:

Post-COVID-19 Syndrome

While the majority of COVID-19 patients recover within a few weeks, some individuals continue to experience symptoms for months after becoming infected. This is commonly known as “post-COVID-19 syndrome,” “long COVID-19,” or “chronic COVID-19.” Persisting symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Chest pain
  • Increased heart rate
  • Fever
  • Dizziness when standing up
  • Headache
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Rash
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Memory and concentration problems
  • Loss of smell and taste
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Menstrual cycle changes (in women)

Blood Clotting

COVID-19 has been shown to increase the risk of blood clots forming, which can damage the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and legs. Especially large clots can even lead to heart attacks and strokes. What’s more, COVID-19 may weaken blood vessels so much that they begin to leak, causing liver and kidney damage.

Organ Damage

As one might suspect, COVID-19 can permanently damage the lungs. However, it also has the potential to damage the brain, the heart, the kidneys, and other bodily organs, leading to issues such as strokes and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Some COVID-19 patients have also experienced multisystem inflammatory syndrome, which is characterized by the severe inflammation of organs and other tissues.

Psychological Issues

If someone with COVID-19 requires hospitalization, the experience could be so stressful that it leads to long-term issues such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Individuals who lost a loved one to COVID-19 could also experience issues relating to that loss.

Find Out if You Have COVID-19

If you suspect that you have COVID-19, don’t panic. The first step you’ll need to take is undergoing a COVID-19 test to confirm the diagnosis. If it turns out that you are infected, you’ll need to take certain steps to keep yourself healthy and avoid passing the virus to others. Then, once you’re feeling better, you can consult with a trained medical provider to learn more about potential long-term effects.

So, where should you go to get your COVID-19 test? If you’re in Connecticut, Massachusetts, or New York, you can turn to PhysicianOne Urgent Care. In addition to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and rapid antigen tests (which can both identify a current infection), we also offer antibody tests (which can confirm whether someone was previously infected). And if you’re hesitant to leave the house, you can attend a telehealth virtual visit to determine whether you need to undergo an in-person test (if you do, we’ll prioritize your test when you arrive at our office).

Click here to find out if PhysicianOne Urgent Care has a location near you. Or, call us at 860-650-3848. One of our friendly team members will be happy to tell you more about our COVID-19 testing options and answer any questions you may have.

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