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Symptoms after 6 months
Photo by WJFW Newswatch 12

Health officials say COVID-19 can create chronic symptoms


Story By Georgina Fernandez
Local News Published 02/19/2021 5:12PM
Northwoods - New studies at the University of Madison are showing that having COVID-19 related symptoms post-recovery is becoming common. According to health experts at the University, 75 percent of individuals who had a severe case of COVID-19 show at least one chronic symptom of COVID-19 after recovery. Some of the most common systems, health officials say, are shortness of breath, fatigue, foggy memory, insomnia, and body aches. They have also reported individuals who have had other complications, such as strokes, blood clots and cardiovascular disease, and organ damage related to COVID-19. Health officials call patients who are demonstrating these symptoms are"Long Haulers".
 
"It is not surprising," Associate Professor, Dr. Aurora Pop-Vicas, said. "We usually see this for patients who require prolonged ICU stays. They need prolonged time for rehabilitation and recovery.

But the virus doesn't discriminate. Even those who had mild symptoms of COVID-19, like a stuffy nose, are 10 percent more likely to still suffer from similar symptoms.

"Many patients don't return to their normal baseline," Dr. Pop-Vicas said. "They might not be able to resume the prior level of activity right away."

Current studies show, she says, that patients are still experiencing related symptoms six months after diagnosis. And with a virus that keeps people on their toes with new information and studies just starting to come out, health officials say, the future effect of the virus is still unknown.

"The fact that there is so much unknown associated with these diseases really highlights the importance of continued research and studies of this illness," Dr. Pop-Vicas said. "As well as continued vigilance to prevent the infection in the first place."

She says those who are still struggling with COVID-19 symptoms should reach out to their primary care physician ASAP to create a personalized rehabilitation plan. 
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