Long-term impacts of COVID-19

What physicians are learning about lingering symptoms
Posted at 6:22 PM, Jan 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-20 20:22:51-05

There are several symptoms that can arise from COVID-19, and many of these symptoms can linger for weeks or even months. Some people— known as “long haulers” are suffering from what's come to be known as "long COVID”.

Those suffering from long COVID find themselves enduring symptoms and new complications months after their illness, according to Dr. Dixie Harris, a critical care and pulmonary medicine physician at Intermountain Healthcare.

Dr. Harris and other physicians and clinicians from Intermountain are examining these long-term effects from COVID and are learning more about lingering symptoms.

As of today, the COVID-19 virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 SARS-CoV-2, has resulted in more than 91 million confirmed cases and more than 1.9 million deaths around the world.

The clinical spectrum of SARS-CoV-2 infection is wide, encompassing asymptomatic infection, fever, fatigue, myalgias, mild upper respiratory tract illness, severe life-threatening viral pneumonia requiring admission to hospital, and death.

Physicians across the globe have observed persisting symptoms and unexpected, substantial organ dysfunction after SARS-CoV-2 infection in an increasing number of patients who have recovered, as previously observed in the SARS outbreak.

However, COVID-19 is a new disease and uncertainty still remains regarding the possible long-term health impacts.

This is particularly relevant for patients with severe symptoms, including those who required mechanical ventilation during their hospital stay, for whom long-term complications and incomplete recovery after discharge would be expected.

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