The Long Term Effects of Covid19

Quarantine restrictions in response to the Covid-19 are being eased across Europe. The situations seem to be improving for many countries such as Spain, Italy and France. Deaths are decreasing, and survivors are increasing. The symptoms are widely familiar, and treatments are used to save lives. Scientists are now studying the aftermath effects of Covid-19 on the survivors. Unfortunately, it is feared that it might be the start of long term health issues. It is essential to mention that not all patients that have recovered from Covid-19 will have the following conditions. This coronavirus strain can be a severe virus, especially for people over 60 years of age or those with conditions such as diabetes or cardiovascular issues. Therefore it can be deduced that in those the groups of people, post-recuperation effects of Covid-19 can be seen.

Respiratory experts and medical professionals are seeing a new lung condition and respiratory diseases after the recovery from Covid-19. They range from a simple cough to chronic wheezing and asthma. Some patients develop ARDS, which is characterized by rapid, widespread inflammation in the lungs. Many require intensive rehabilitation and are found to be weak, debilitated and in need of oxygen.

Psychologists and experts also warn on the danger of possible developments of PTSD, anxiety and depression. A specialist from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas explains the term PICS, “Post-intensive care syndrome is used to describe patients who have survived a severe critical illness, along with the intensive care required to survive. Patients can have some combination of physical impairment, cognitive impairment, and psychiatric impairment.” To make matters worse, there are already articles pointing out at the possibility that the virus can travel to the brain, affecting the medulla oblongata. The medulla oblongata is the area in the brain that controls the cardiorespiratory system. However, it is essential to highlight that there is still not enough data to state all effects.

It is also possible for Covid-19 to attack the kidneys. Maurice, a patient that spent 20 days on a ventilator, explains that “What people do fail to realize is that, with COVID, is not just about COVID pneumonia… It does go for other internal organs. In the UK, more than 20% of the patients in ICU suffer kidney failure. An expert describes that the virus can be seen in the structures of the kidney and affect the stickiness of the blood. “The blood becomes sludgy and becomes the kidney is full of little blood vessels; it sludges up the kidneys; therefore, the kidneys start to fail.”

The bottom line is that people should be careful and proceed with the advice given by experts. People should not skip the quarantine or underestimate the power of this novel coronavirus. It is also of crucial importance to value the sacrifice and work done by all medical and sanitary staff.

Laura L, Year 12

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