BENGALURU: Covid-19 patients post-recovery continue to face a range of health issues, depending on the severity of the disease they faced earlier.
When Supriya Sunil, her husband and their toddler returned home from the hospital after recovering from Covid, all the three continued to suffer from health problems.
Supriya had a post-nasal drip, where the mucus runs back down the nose to the throat, and she was made to continue with the medication for two more weeks.
“I faced fatigue for nearly 20 days even after testing negative. My husband faced throat irritation and my daughter took 10 days to get her appetite back,” Supriya said.
Mild Covid patients often face tiredness, fatigue, myalgia (muscle ache), weakness and lethargy for a week to 10 days, but they do not need medicines, said Dr Ravindra Mehta, senior consultant and HoD, Pulmonology and Interventional Pulmonology, Apollo Speciality Hospitals.
“We have post-Covid follow-ups where we handhold patients for one to four weeks. In moderate to severe cases, the symptoms last longer. In cases where there is a lung involvement, where the patient was in the ICU or ventilator, they suffer persistent breathing issues, shortness of breath and permanent or partial damage to the lungs even after testing negative,” he said, adding that these patients are treated with steroids, inhalers and physiotherapy.
During follow-ups in subsequent six weeks, doctors check the patient for symptoms of depression and anxiety, and direct them to psychiatric help if needed, said Dr Vivekanand Padegal, Director, Pulmonology, Fortis Hospital.
“Over six weeks after the onset of the illness, in severe Covid cases where they can undergo lung damage, some patients have been moved from Covid ICU to the normal ICU where they continue to remain on ventilator, even after testing negative. Some 5-10 per cent of severe cases suffer fibrosis of the lung, which is scarring of the organ,” he said.
According to Dr Ranjan Shetty, HoD and consultant, Interventional Cardiology, Manipal Hospitals, patients are advised to remain careful even after testing negative and are asked not to indulge in too much activity.
“For the next three to four weeks, they should look out for any palpitations, tiredness, chest pain and get checked if needed. Walking and yoga is okay, but running and competitive sports are not,” said Dr Shetty.
“Other side-effects noticed are heart issues, including clot formation in the leg that goes up to the lungs and affects the heart, myocarditis, which is inflammation of the heart muscle, and lastly, arrhythmia, where there is a change in the rhythm of the heartbeat,” he said.