COVID-19 symptoms may linger long after recovery

Posted at 6:33 PM, Sep 22, 2020

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — While most COVID-19 patients fully recover, a small, yet significant portion experience long-term side effects. Symptoms such as fatigue, cough, and shortness of breath may be prominent even months after one tests negative.

"This isn't just a short-term, self limited illness. COVID-19, in a substantial minority of patients, go on to have longer term symptoms and problems," said Dr. Mark Rupp, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at UNMC. "These symptoms, unfortunately, appear that they may linger for months."

Besides symptoms that one may experience while positive for COVID-19, some patients have also experienced side effects such as hair and vision loss. While the virus mainly attacks the respiratory system, it can also affect other bodily systems.

"This affects really every organ system. So the virus does go and attack the vascular system which can obviously be in any organ system. So we are seeing manifestations in every system, every organ that you care to mention," Dr. Rupp said.

While there are some trends in who may experience long-term side effects, there's not definitive determining factor. To truly understand the long-term impact the virus may have on people's health, we're going to have to wait a while.

"We won’t know the full long-term manifestations of COVID-19 for several years yet. We do have cohorts of that we’re following intensely. Those things will be defined as time goes on, but only time is going to tell," Dr. Rupp said.

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