LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Some recovered COVID-19 patients are returning to the hospital with serious long term illnesses, which experts are now calling Post COVID-19 syndrome.
A recent study reported that 55 percent of recovered patients are reporting long term side effects, ranging from difficulty concentrating and trouble sleeping to permanent lung and liver damage.
Covenant Pulmonologist Dr. Brian Williams said many people don’t realize that the virus can permanently damage organs.
“They think it’s a little bit of a cold, they will get it and get it over with. But they don’t realize the long term side effects can happen with this virus more so than we ever had,” Williams said.
Post COVID-19 syndrome may include:
- shortness of breath
- permanent lung scarring
- chronic fatigue
- muscle pain
- difficulty sleeping
- liver/kidney damage
- brain fog, difficulty concentrating
- losing sense of smell for over six months
- joint pain
So far research is limited about what age groups are affected and why the virus affects organs the way it does, but Williams said all age groups have been affected to some degree.
Williams said this virus is still new and most research has been focused on treating active COVID-19 patients.
Research and treatment lags behind because we’re so focused on the front lines, trying to save everyone from the beginning as opposed to now we’re trying to find the long term effects,” Williams said.
Although there is limited research on treating Post COVID-19 syndrome, Williams recommends picking up healthy habits like a balanced diet.
“We need to be aware that it causes long term organ damage. Not just killing people, it really affects people’s lives,” Williams said.