Right now some people may be sitting at home in self-quarantine, not only because of a lockdown, but because they have tested positive for Covid-19.
The reason they are still at home is likely because they are suffering from either mild
symptoms, like most of the victims of the flu, or they have no symptoms at all.
Other victims unfortunately are hooked-up
to ventilator machines in hospitals.
Is There Any Long Term Health Impacts Of The Coronavirus?
But since we are all potential victims of this virus, you might want to know if there are any long term health impacts, either from a mild case or a serious case.
We don’t yet have the exact numbers, but current reporting suggests the vast majority of deaths from the virus have been with people who were suffering from another illness.
For instance, on March 18, Italy’s national health authority said 99 percent of deaths happened to people who were already ill from
some other disease or underlying health problems.
That doesn’t mean all people with underlying
health problems will die, far from it.
As I write this, the one-time business-minded
gangster from “The Wire”, one Idris Elba, is at home having tested positive for the virus.
He has said in videos that he has no symptoms,
but he also said he has had asthma all his life.
The question is, if you already have an underlying health problem, will it get worse after contracting the virus?
And what about those who had no health issues in the past?
Coronavirus impact on young people.
First, it’s not only older people that die from the virus.
As I write this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is saying that in the U.S. alone, one in five people that have been affected in the USA are aged between 20 and 44 and in the UK, health officials have said, “There are some young people who have ended up in intensive care.”
From that information, we can be sure that a lot of healthy young people have gotten the virus so far, and when we are talking about long term health impacts, we will mostly be focused on those younger cases.
Ok, so say you are a young-ish person between
20 and 44 with no underlying health problems. When you get the virus, officially named Sars-CoV-2, it will invade your body and infect your cells.
As we write this, eight out of ten people are reported to only have mild symptoms.
This could include a fever and a cough, and
maybe some aching in the body.
Affected people will probably feel weak and
drained, but that’s because the body is trying to eject the infected cells.
People’s immune systems will start to kick
in, and chemicals called cytokines will be
These in short are signaling molecules that are trying to regulate your immunity.
In layman’s terms, they are kicking ass, but
that will make some people feel they have no energy and cause the body aches.
Others may have diarrhea or shortness of breath or even a loss of smell and taste.
In short, many people’s immune systems fight
off the virus very well and some will have no symptoms at all.
That doesn’t mean you should go out and rejoice though, since even if you aren’t showing any symptoms you could still spread it to other people who might develop worse symptoms.
As for how asymptomatic people can spread
the disease, well, as we write this we still don’t know how many “silent carriers” are spreading the disease.
The World Health Organization has said transmission from asymptomatic patients is rare, but other studies differ on that analysis.
As you well know, it’s all the contradictory news reports that makes this pandemic all the more annoying, confusing, and stressful.
We’ll be coming back to the topic of stress
again soon too.
So, let’s say you are one of those few people
who have severe breathing difficulties and end up needing a ventilator to breathe.
You might have something called acute respiratory distress syndrome, aka ARDS.
Some people will recover from this, but for others their long term quality of life will be affected negatively.
They might suffer lung damage that means they will be returning to hospital time and again, while others might suffer from muscle weakness.
That’s unfortunately on the good end of the spectrum for ARDS, since in many cases it leads to organ failure and death.
Even if people who have a very severe case of this infection don’t get ARDS, they may be unfortunate enough to have other organs damaged, but this can happen with any severe
We can look at severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which was also caused by a coronavirus to try and get an idea of what the current outbreak will be like.
Most patients made a full recovery, but some
people did have long-term health effects such
as chronic shortness of breath or coughing, while others suffered from kidney disease.
Though it only occurred in a small percentage
of those infected, health experts warn that when you have any kind of lung infection that
makes breathing hard, kidney damage can happen.
Now back to the cytokines we mentioned earlier.
There is something called a “cytokine storm”,
which is kind of an overreaction of your immune system.
The body might produce a massive inflammatory response, and this can also result in organ damage.
Since some people with SARS had long-term
health problems from this overactive immune
response, some doctors worry it could be the
same with Sars-CoV-2.
It’s too early to tell for sure though.
It was the same with Middle East Respiratory
Syndrome, aka, MERS.
Most people with mild symptoms generally made a full recovery, but people who had severe cases ended up back in hospital time and again since damage had been caused to various organs.
We should say again that these long-term health problems might only affect people with pre-existing conditions or people who come down with a very severe case of this new infection.
I don’t want to stress you, in fact, i
want you to feel positive.
The reason is, as we speak there are reports
stating that many people are suffering from
anxiety and depression because of the worry
that they might contract COVID-19.
But studies have shown that anxiety and depression can actually weaken your immune system and so you can become more susceptible to other diseases.
If you do contact COVID-19, you will likely be fine, and recover, and have no serious health problems after recovery.
But if you really want to stay healthy then
follow the guidelines issued by all major health agencies:
1. avoid large social gatherings.
2. socially distance when in public.
3. wash your hands regularly with soap and water.
4. avoid touching your face.
We’d like to take your mind off the virus
for now, and we think you should Read this
amusing and informative article, “See the Luckiest Unlucky man in the world.”