The COVID effect: Long-term health problems plaguing patients | Features

COVID-19 is beginning to show itself to be more than just a respiratory illness. Some patients are still fighting off symptoms of the disease months after recovery. From skin problems to brain and neurological issues, here are some of the possible long-term health effects of COVID that you need to know about.

“It was scary. It’s the worst I’ve ever felt in my life,” said Clarence Troutman, a COVID-19 survivor. Getting COVID can be life-altering. Not just while you are battling the disease, but months, possibly years after beating it.

“If your lungs are not in prime shape, your heart suffers and your whole body,” said Purvi Parikh, MD, an immunologist of allergy and asthma at NYU Langone Health.

According to a recent study, patients who had coronavirus are seven times more likely to suffer a stroke than flu patients. Thirty percent of patients developed moderate to severe kidney injury. The brain has been the latest organ to see an array of lingering COVID effects, including confusion, trouble focusing, headaches, seizures, and some patients have developed peripheral nerve issues. In a study from Spain, more than 50 percent of patients had neurologic symptoms from COVID-19.

A research group based in London found 30 percent of patients who had severe COVID-19 illness suffered from PTSD, proving this virus may impact us for much longer than expected.

“Take COVID-19 seriously. It’s a lot more than a flu. Don’t dismiss it,” urged Troutman.

Not everyone who survives COVID-19 has the same risk of developing long-term health effects. Those who are at greater risk are those who have severe complications from COVID-19, those with underlying chronic conditions, people over 65, and people living in nursing homes or long-term care facilities.

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