General Practice 2022

Sequels of COVID-19: what are the symptoms and what to do

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Sequels of COVID-19: what are the symptoms and what to do
Sequels of COVID-19: what are the symptoms and what to do

Although COVID-19 mainly affects the lungs, some sequelae, such as heart problems, diabetes or kidney disease, can develop a few months after recovery from coronavirus infection, even in milder cases of the disease.

Although the exact cause that causes the appearance of these sequelae has not yet been fully clarified, some recent research suggests that they may be the result of intense inflammation caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus or even due to some other pre-existing disease. -existing, which manifests after coronavirus infection.

COVID-19 is an infection caused by a new type of coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and is characterized by the appearance of flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache and general malaise, in addition to having intense coughing and difficulty breathing.In some cases, hospitalization is required due to the severity of the symptoms that can be life-threatening. Check out all the symptoms of COVID-19.

Main sequels

Some symptoms such as excessive tiredness, weakness, muscle pain, coughing or loss of smell/taste are the most common sequelae after infection, which can remain for more than 12 weeks, even after the person is considered cured.

These symptoms that remain after the cure of COVID-19, proven through a negative test for SARS-CoV-2, characterize a situation known as post-COVID syndrome, being more common to happen in people over 70 years, women and people who had more than 5 symptoms of COVID-19 during the active phase of the disease. Learn more about the post-COVID syndrome.

However, there are sequelae that involve other organs of the body and that have been reported, albeit less frequently, by people who have had COVID-19, some studies and scientific journals. These include:

  • Cardiovascular system:myocardial inflammation, heart failure, inflammation of the membrane lining the heart, acute coronary heart disease, cardiac arrhythmia, infarction, or increased blood clotting;
  • Respiratory system: stiffening of the lung, called pulmonary fibrosis, which can cause breathing difficulties or poor blood circulation;
  • Renal system: acute renal failure, characterized by decreased kidney function;
  • Neurological system: loss of taste and smell, headache, anxiety, depression, insomnia, brain inflammation, stroke, cerebral venous thrombosis, cerebral hemorrhage, confusion, delirium, dizziness, seizures, Guillain-BarrĂ© syndrome, Parkinson's disease, or Miller Fisher syndrome;
  • Dermatological system: blistering, itchy or swollen skin, or alopecia, which is hair loss;
  • Gintestinal system: loss of appetite, nausea, gastroesophageal reflux disease, diarrhea, abdominal pain or swelling, or bloody stools;
  • Ophthalmic system: conjunctivitis, keratoconjunctivitis or hemorrhagic conjunctivitis, eyelid redness, retinal blood vessel obstruction, optic nerve inflammation or corneal nerve fiber alteration;
  • Endocrine system: thyroid inflammation, hyperglycemia in people with diabetes, increased insulin resistance, or development of type 1 diabetes.

It is important to note that most people with COVID-19 recover quickly. However, due to the possibility of the development of sequelae of the infection, it becomes even more important to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, following precautionary measures such as social distancing, use of masks, hand washing and use of alcohol gel, for example. example. Check out all the measures to prevent infection by COVID-19.

Furthermore, the vaccine is the best way to protect against COVID-19 and against reinfection with a potentially more dangerous new variant of the virus. Find out which are the main vaccines for COVID-19.

Why does COVID-19 leave sequelae?

The exact cause of the sequelae of COVID-19 is not yet known, however, studies carried out so far report that during infection the body produces a large amount of inflammatory substances, called cytokines, as a way to increase the action of the immune system to fight the virus. These cytokines can end up accumulating in other organs and systems, causing chronic inflammation and causing sequelae.

What to do in case of a sequel

In case there is any sign or symptom that may be indicative of a sequel of COVID-19, it is important to consult the doctor, so that the diagnosis is made and the relationship with COVID-19 established and, thus, start medical follow-up and treatment according to specific symptoms and on an individual basis.

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