• Profile
Close

Long-term symptoms, complications of COVID-19

Mayo Clinic Aug 08, 2020

Acute symptoms of COVID-19, such as cough, fever and shortness of breath, are now widely known. What is not known, however, is what symptoms and complications may linger long after an initial COVID-19 infection. Early research shows the disease attacks more than just the respiratory system, affecting multiple organs with blood clots and inflammation.

For our comprehensive coverage and latest updates on COVID-19 click here.


"This is a disease that has a number of mysteries involved, compared to the usual respiratory virus," says Dr. Gregory Poland, a COVID-19 expert at Mayo Clinic. "On the one hand, we see very severe but variable manifestations. On the other hand, (we see) infection without symptoms. We also see a diminution of immunity over time with this coronavirus."

What's just starting to emerge, according to Dr. Poland, is this idea of COVID-19 "long-haulers," which is a term used to describe people who develop long-term and ongoing complications."We're really seeing a number of reports of people who report long-term fatigue, headaches, vertigo (and), interestingly enough, difficulties with cognition, hair loss, cardiac issues, and diminished cardiorespiratory fitness. And I think what we're going to find out is that a large portion ― not all, but a large portion of that ― is likely to relate to the significant cellular-level damage that this virus can cause," says Dr. Poland.

Some of the possible long-term effects can affect even patients who are asymptomatic or have mild cases of COVID-19."I think it's an argument for why we take this disease so seriously," says Dr. Poland. "People who are thinking, especially young people: '(It's a) mild disease, you know. I might not even have any symptoms, and I'm over it.' Whoa. The data is suggesting otherwise. There's evidence of myocardial damage, cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias, decreased ejection fractions, pulmonary scarring and strokes.

"And then in the more acute phase, extending out for a month or two, has been this really interesting issue of coagulation abnormalities, which have been responsible for both small-vessel and large-vessel arterial and venous occlusions. So this can be a really wicked virus in some people," says Dr. Poland.

"We're going to see more and more of the longer-term consequences come out, and we're going to need to study those as vigorously as we did the acute symptoms. Catalog them, understand them and then do clinical trials to figure out how best to treat them," says Dr. Poland.

Information in this post was accurate at the time of its posting. Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific understanding along with guidelines and recommendations may have changed since the original publication date. 

Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for additional updates on COVID-19. For more information and all your COVID-19 coverage, go to the Mayo Clinic News Network and mayoclinic.org.

Go to Original
Only Doctors with an M3 India account can read this article. Sign up for free.
  • 55 lakhs+ doctors trust M3 globally

  • Nonloggedininfinity icon
    Unlimited access to original articles by experts
  • Nonloggedinlock icon
    Secure: we never sell your data
  • Signing up takes less than 2 mins
Try M3 India / Log In
x
M3 app logo
Choose easy access to M3 India from your mobile!


M3 instruc arrow
Add M3 India to your Home screen
Tap  Chrome menu  and select "Add to Home screen" to pin the M3 India App to your Home screen
Okay