Post-Covid condition is a rather alarming feature in which people are complaining of symptoms several weeks after they’ve turned negative for the virus. This has been given a term – The world is in the clutches of an unexpected and devastating pandemic. It has been raging on for the past fifteen months and is still creating havoc in several parts of the world. What seemed like a mild disease, has led to the loss of many lives and left others recuperating for a long time.
The coronavirus was a seemingly harmless virus, but this pandemic has taught us otherwise. The novelty of its characteristics and its rapidly changing features is making it that much more difficult to tame.
Since it shows a variety of signs and symptoms, it has given the medical community a tough time stopping its course. In this article, we attempt to give a brief idea about this phenomenon.
Let’s talk about Covid itself. By now, everyone must be well versed with the signs and symptoms of Covid. These include fever, runny nose, loss of taste or smell, cough, and symptoms that seem to affect other parts of the body, like bowel problems. It mimics the flu but it has been found that it’s more contagious and has the ability to mutate or change its structure at a rapid rate. Many countries have been reporting the third wave and this may be attributed to the different variants.
The measures for preventing the disease occupy the topmost priority today. The government of every country around the world is promoting the methods that have shown to be able to contain the spread. These are, wearing a mask to cover your nose and mouth, maintaining a distance from people outside your household, and washing hands with soap or using a sanitizer. The development of vaccines has slightly accelerated the road to recovery. However, a lot remains unanswered and baffles scientists.
Post Covid condition is one such phenomenon. It was noticed when a lot of people who had recently overcome Covid, began visiting hospitals with difficulties ranging from tiredness to problems in concentrating (brain fog).
What is post Covid condition?
This is a relatively new term that has been coined for when people return to hospitals with symptoms around four weeks after being infected with Covid. These symptoms can be new, which can alarm the patient. Post Covid has been seen across several patients, those who had only mild symptoms as well as those who had severe symptoms. Post Covid can exaggerate any long-term health condition the patient may be having.
Post Covid conditions involve a range of problems. Researchers around the world are carefully following up on those patients to track the severity, duration, and impact of each symptom. At the moment, it’s uncertain who will get affected and how long it will last. Some people have been seen to be affected for several months with post Covid conditions.
Different categories of conditions
Two main categories have been identified – Long Covid and multi-organ effects
- Long Covid – This involves a spectrum of symptoms that can affect a person who had been diagnosed with Covid. Many have been affected for weeks to months. Common symptoms of long Covid are difficulty in concentrating, loss of taste or smell, headache, body ache, heart racing (palpitations), breathlessness, and in some cases depression and anxiety. It’s difficult to deal with the sudden onset of these, especially after you’ve been given the all-clear from Covid. Hence, this has become a real cause of concern to healthcare professionals.
- Multi-organ effects – The virus infection and in post Covid, all major organs can be affected. It’s classified as multi-system inflammatory syndrome and autoimmune problems. Both of these involve swelling of organs and situations where the immune cells of the body, which are supposed to defend us from external organisms, start attacking the body’s own cells leading to painful swelling.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder and long-term weakness are being identified in those who had long-term hospitalization due to a Covid infection.
Patients are being managed according to the symptoms they manifest. A few post Covid care clinics are being set up in hospitals to cater to these needs. It’s advised to consult healthcare providers if you feel something is wrong. But of course, adhering to the safety measures and avoiding a coronavirus infection is the best bet!