Chronic COVID-19: why coronavirus symptoms can last for months
Several recoveries from COVID-19 say they continued to suffer from the symptoms of the virus weeks and months after the first infection. This is one of the mysteries of the new virus. Writes about it Euro News.
Now these people are looking for help on the Internet from others experiencing similar complications due to coronavirus, which they fear may cause them chronic health problems.
“We feel completely unnecessary,” says 36-year-old entrepreneur Genevieve Danezi from Antibes, France, who claims doctors have repeatedly disregarded her when she sought help for her symptoms.
Only a month after these symptoms first appeared, she was admitted to the hospital for a CT scan, which showed that she likely had COVID-19. Even after the first month, she continued to have symptoms - inability to stand for more than five minutes, heart palpitations, and dizziness.
Before the pandemic, Danezi was in excellent health. She went to the doctor once a year, was very active, worked twice a day and did not smoke.
Danezi complains that she was constantly told that since she was young and would not die, she should stay at home while her health continued to deteriorate.
“From the beginning until day 70, it looked like relapses and new symptoms. It was like Russian roulette every morning, ”says Danezi. It wasn't until the doctor prescribed oxygen therapy for her at home, months after her first symptoms appeared, that she began to feel better.
But she still needs to take aspirin daily to prevent her heart rate from rising to 120 beats per minute.
A study in Italy found that of the 143 patients with COVID-19 discharged from the hospital, more than 87% said they had at least one symptom that persisted after a negative virus test, most often it was fatigue and dyspnea.
“Different manifestations can have completely different mechanisms,” said Danny Altmann, professor of immunology at Imperial College London, keeping in mind that even people with mild symptoms can have long-term tissue damage or an immune response that goes on almost like a syndrome.
“We know that there are a certain number of people who contract the virus, sometimes in a severe form, sometimes with less severe symptoms and who develop them for weeks,” said French Health Minister Olivier Veran.
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said they were “concerned that there is growing evidence that a minority of people (but a significant minority) have long-term consequences, and this can be pretty debilitating.”
Hancock said the government has invested nearly 10 million pounds ($ 12,6 million) in studies of the long-term effects of coronavirus.
Veran said research is ongoing to find out if the long-lasting “inflammatory phase” of the virus can explain these symptoms, but said they are looking for ways to help patients.
However, at the moment they do not have many answers.
Claudia Uceda, a 24-year-old translator from Paris, was hospitalized with several asthma attacks after recovering from coronavirus.
She began breathing problems in March, but she was not hospitalized, even when her entire family was infected with the coronavirus.
In France, many people who claim that they still have symptoms of coronavirus infection first became infected with this disease in the midst of an epidemic, so they could not pass the test.
Natalie Neri says that she first discovered her fever, chest pain, shortness of breath and severe fatigue on March 24th.
The 51-year-old teacher of visual arts in Nimes said that her son and his girlfriend returned from Paris, after which they lost their sense of smell and taste.
Her symptoms lasted ten days, but she was not checked for the presence of coronavirus, because the tests were intended for hospitalized patients with coronavirus and health workers.
Throughout April, she still felt tired, but only at the beginning of May she again had temperature and chest pain. For several months she went through repeated cycles of new symptoms from severe chest pain to dizziness.
“I was completely lost. My loved ones didn’t understand anything, ”complains Nuri. She visited several doctors, some of whom did not take her symptoms seriously.
Now she switched to social networks. In France, the hashtag, translated as “after 20 days” or “after 100 days,” helps those who are still suffering from symptoms to find support. Such activity "showed me that I was not an isolated case, and other people had similar symptoms."
“I think this is one of the very difficult aspects: many people who feel unwell for a long time have never been tested for coronavirus and have never been hospitalized,” said Altmann of Imperial College London.
“However, there are many infections that cause certain diseases that can be chronic. For some of the patients with COVID-19, this seems quite likely, ”he added and explained that several studies are currently being carried out to study these patients.
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