Coronavirus Updates

What are the long-term effects of COVID-19?


CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Though most people with COVID-19 recover in weeks, those diagnosed may not be out of the woods.

Research shows, post-COVID-19 conditions are a wide range, of new, returning, or ongoing health problems, weeks after one starts to feel healthy. Health experts are cautioning those who have contracted COVID-19 of the long-term effects the illness can have on your body, even if you’ve only experienced mild symptoms.

“People who have even been asymptomatic and later found out that they have covid can have some of these long term symptoms. They can range from anything from mild confusion to fatigue, something we call ‘brain fog,” said Kanawha Charleston Health Department Health Officer, Dr. Sherri Young.

And Dr. Tom Takubo, a Pulmonologist, says he’s seen more than just cognitive effects. “I’ve seen dozens upon dozens upon dozens of clotting disorders, lung problems, scarring in multiple places, people developing high blood pressure that never had high blood pressure before.”

Dr. Young adds, if COVID-19 landed you in the hospital, you face an even greater risk of long-term problems. “They get a lot more of the muscle wasting. They may have more long-term breathing complications or trouble with their voice where they have been intubated for a long time.”

And Dr. Takubo says, there is still so much we don’t know about the long-term complications of the virus. “You’re probably looking the next couple of years. I mean we’re still learning, we’re coming out of it, but we’re still probably getting a couple of criticals a week. So even though it’s dramatically better than what it was, it’s still out there.”

Both doctors are saying the same about preventing these long-term conditions. “Get the vaccine,” said, Dr. Young. And Dr. Takubo says, “I think what it’s going to come down to is people are going to have one of two choices. They’re either going to A: get covid, or B: get the vaccine, but it’s one of the two.”

Dr. Young says that if you are experiencing severe illness weeks after contracting the virus, to reach out to your physician immediately.

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