Though we’re nearing three years into the COVID-19 pandemic, we still don’t know a lot about the virus. While we’re on the verge of answering some, others require the passing of time. One of the questions at the top of everyone’s list is, “how long can COVID affect your body?” Here’s what we know.
Most people with mild or moderate COVID-19 symptoms recover within a few weeks. Others experience post-COVID conditions, which are a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems. Individuals can experience post-COVID conditions four or more weeks after first contracting the virus. It even affects those who had the virus, but didn’t experience symptoms.
These conditions can present as different types and combinations of health problems for different lengths of time. The most common symptoms are:
· Body aches
· Shortness of breath
· Difficulty concentrating
· Inability to exercise
· Difficulty sleeping
What we know about the long-term effects of COVID can be broken down into three categories:
· Symptoms linger from the direct cell damage because of the virus.
O This means that people with COVID-19 do not recover completely and have ongoing symptoms because of direct cell damage from the virus.
· Symptoms are related to chronic hospitalization when someone is in the hospital, ICU, or bed-bound for weeks.
O Chronic hospitalization causes inherent muscle weakness, cognitive brain dysfunction, and psychosocial stress. This causes post-traumatic stress disorder-like syndrome.
· Symptoms that appear after recovery.
O Various factors are at play in how a person’s immune system responds to the virus. As a result, symptoms may linger on or develop after the recovery.
Experts worldwide are working on learning more about the health effects associated with COVID-19, both long and short-term. Once more is known, there’ll be a better understanding of how long they last, who gets them, and why. In the meantime, vaccination is still the best protection against COVID-19and its variants.
If you’re looking to finish your vaccine series, need your booster, or want to get your initial dose, COVID-19 vaccine research studies may be an option. Contact Rainier Clinical Research Center to learn more (toll-free)at (888) 478-8343 or visit our website.
Learn more about RSV in our new blog and the danger to infants and older individuals.