KOCHI: Even as the daily cases and test positivity rate (TPR) go up, people go on flouting Covid norms. For those who view Omicron just as a flu not leaving behind any severe health ailments, the tales of recovered Covid patients may enlighten them. Covid’s long-term effects and recurring health difficulties have robbed them of their quality of life.
Aravind K, 42, working at a private company in Bengaluru, got Covid infection in the second wave. After recovering from the infection in June last year, he has been suffering recurrent fatigue and headache. Due to the long Covid issues, his productivity at work has been affected badly and so has his quality of life.
“It has been nearly eight months since I recovered from Covid. I cannot call it a recovery at all. During the infection, I didn’t have pneumonia or major symptoms. I was under home care. I was a workaholic but, since the infection hit me, I have been left with health issues including fatigue and frequent headache. It has affected me mentally as well, not being able to go for recreational trips, travel and so on,” said Aravind, a resident of Mavelikkara.
Covid-recovered patients with persisting symptoms for over three months are considered ‘long Covid’ cases. Recovered patients with mild and moderate symptoms also suffer fatigue, headache, weakness of limbs, muscle pain, loss of concentration, hair loss, insomnia, dizziness, persistent cough and shortness of breath. Studies have shown that individuals hospitalised with acute Covid may continue to experience long Covid symptoms at least for a year after discharge.
Not only those with comorbidities but even youngsters are left with long Covid issues. Sherin Thomas, 35, who recovered from Covid infection in April last year, has been facing breathlessness and tiredness even now. “It happens all of a sudden and then goes away on its own. During the infection, I was not hospitalised but had issues of cough and breathing difficulty. But they did not last long,” said Sherin, who works with a consultancy firm in Kochi.
“Irrespective of vaccination, people are affected with long Covid. Though the symptoms seem to be milder, they are serious. There is no explanation as to why such symptoms occur. Imagine a situation when, out of the blue, you feel dizziness. Your entire day will be gone and it may last for days. Be it any variant having varying symptoms, long Covid is real and so is its frequent ailments. In the case of Omicron, we are not yet in the state to analyse its complications and post-Covid ailments. Therefore, everyone should take precautionary steps,” said Dr Cyriac James, ENT specialist based in Kozhikode.
Earlier, Health Minister Veena George had pointed out there was laxity seen among the public. At a stage when officials expect a peak of the third wave in two-three weeks, the public has been advised to exercise utmost caution.