VISAKHAPATNAM/VIJAYAWADA: About 30% of people who recovered from coronavirus are facing post- Covid complications and most of them are those who were severely affected and on oxygen support, said Dr PV Sudhakar, Principal of Andhra Medical College and Covid-19 Nodal Officer.
Speaking to TNIE, Dr Sudhakar said those who are coming with post-Covid complications are from all age groups and the problems they are facing are related to head to toe, including hair fall, occasional nausea, reflux, diarrhoea and irregular heartbeat. Most important are psychological problems due to hospitalisation for a long period. Depression and anxiety are also seen among post-Covid cases, he said.
Dr Aruna, pulmonologist in GGH, Vijayawada, told TNIE that most of the post-Covid symptoms are related to residual lung disorders like pulmonary fibrosis. Sometimes they may not be curable leading to chronic lung diseases. These problems are mostly related to severe Covid cases and those who were put on oxygen support, she said. According to Dr Aruna, lung infections normally lead to right heart failure symptoms.
“We are getting people who recovered from Covid a few months ago in outpatient ward, complaining of problems in breathing and chest pain. Irrespective of age of patients, these symptoms are being reported in severe cases discharged from hospital,” she explained.
Dr Sudhakar said those who are facing severe pulmonary problems such as pneumonia, pulmonary fibrosis, pneumothorax (air accumulates in lung cavity), need hospitalisation, while others can be treated as outpatients. If there is prolonged diarrhoea and fever, the patients should be hospitalised, he said.
“It was observed that three to four weeks after recovery from Covid, these problems, including mucormycosis or black fungus are occurring. At this point, we do not know how long these post-Covid problems will sustain,” he said.
Dr Sudhakar is of the view that psychological behaviour will impact on recovery time. Some of them suffer from brain fog as they cannot think logically and they will be anxious and depressed.
There are patients who are suffering from post-Covid complications, but are not seeking medical help. Psychological problems such as brain fog is because of long periods of isolation during treatment and the loss of taste and smell for prolonged period are also impacting their health, he added.
Dr Aruna said chances of blood clotting (thrombosis) are also more among those recovered from Covid. In mild and moderate cases as there was no drop in oxygen saturation levels, post-Covid complications are very less, she observed. Dr Sudhakar said those who recovered from the virus may also be reinfected if they are exposed to the virus. However, chances of reinfection are less if the number of antibodies is more, he added.