Abstract: People might think that the cured COVID-19 patients could live a normal life, but in fact, evidences have showed that many survivals still suffer from various sequelae such as impairment in vision, taste and smell, fatigue sydnrome, kidney damage and cardiovascular disease, etc.
In the past few months, the COVID-19 epidemic has continued to spread around the world. As of August 6, 2020, the number of confirmed infections worldwide has reached 18.7 million, and the death toll has exceeded 700,000.
As more and more patients are cured, the discussion about the sequelae of COVID-19 has finally been paid attention to. For some patients, healing does not mean the end, but just the beginning of living with the pain.
Only half a year has passed since the outbreak of the epidemic. No COVID-19 vaccine or drugs has been proved, and this also leads us to know very little about all the possible sequelae of recovered patients. For systematic studies on sequelae, it may take 2-3 years before there are definite results. But judging from the current news from all over the world, the situation is not optimistic.
• COVID-19 may affect vision
On May 25, 2020, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson attended a press conference. He suffered from COVID-19 before and spent several nights fighting the disease in the ICU. Fortunately, Boris defeated the virus, and was able to return to work.
“I’m finding that I have to wear spectacles for the first time in years – because I think that’s very, very plausible that eyesight can be a problem associated with coronavirus.” Said Boris at the conference.
According to the BBC report, there is a theoretical possibility that the SARS-CoV-2 may affect vision. The virus may cause redness and swelling of eye tissue, which lead to vision impairment. This means that the damage caused by the virus will continue to exist after the virus disappears. Similar cases have also appeared in reports from other countries.
• COVID-19 may affect smell and taste
In addition to the possible impact on vision, the harm on smell and taste is also a major problem.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, 23-year-old Matt Newey from Utah was once infected with SARS-CoV-2 with mild symptoms. After recovery, although he no longer coughed, his sense of taste and smell still did not come back.
He said that when he cleaned up the house of his deceased grandmother, he found that he couldn't smell anything from the perfume bottle of his grandmother. Eating also has become very painful for him because he can’t taste any flavor and his stomach no longer tells him when to eat.
A professor at New York University once commented that this symptom may be temporary or permanent, which remains unknown.
• Chronic fatigue syndrome caused by COVID-19
Canadian actor Wayne Jones posted on his social account that “I had it. Tested positive twice. I’m 69 days after my first symptoms and still feeling fatigued. I also have sore eyes, and weakness and headaches that come and go. All signs point to post-viral fatigue.”
Some scientists think that such a situation is a bit similar to chronic fatigue syndrome, where the body has persistent fatigue symptoms that cannot be recovered, and it occurs continuously for more than 6 months.
Washington Post mentioned a survey of recovered patients, which found that 80% of recovered patients felt fatigue in the first 50 days. And if this symptom persists for a long time, it can be considered as chronic fatigue syndrome. According to Wall Street Journal, more and more COVID-19 patients are experiencing symptoms of nerve damage, including brain inflammation, seizures and even hallucinations.
• COVID-19 causes kidney damage and cardiovascular disease
According to Alan Kliger, a nephrologist at Yale University, in early data from New York, US and Wuhan, China, 14-30% of patients have kidney function loss and require dialysis. "Viruses can attach to kidney cells and attack them," Professor Kliger concluded.
In addition, many medical journals have confirmed that patients with COVID-19 may have blood clots. After the famous American actor Nick Cordero was infected with SARS-CoV-2, he suffered severe blood clots in the veins of his legs and finally had to amputate his right leg. Experts from the American Heart Association say that 40% of critically ill patients may have irregular heart rhythms, and about 20% of patients have experienced other heart damage, which may be directly caused by the virus.
According to the British National Health System (NHS), about 30% of patients with COVID-19 may have life-long sequelae after recovery, including lung damage, fatigue, and even psychological disorders. There may even be damage to brain function, increasing the risk of Alzheimer's disease.
Many people have a misunderstanding that people have only two states, 100% sickness or 100% recovery. But the reality is that between these two extremes, it is actually a gradual process. For most people who have not experienced such terrible thing, actively cooperating with epidemic prevention and cutting off this threat at the source is the best treatment.