Coronavirus survivors plagued by long-term ailments

The novel coronavirus isn’t done with its hosts when they walk out the hospital door.

As more patients recuperating from the deadly virus return to what they hoped would be some form of normalcy, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that long-term symptoms could accompany them.

Lasting effects from COVID-19 including symptoms such as loss of the sense of smell, a dry cough, a flu or fever, shortness of breath, nausea and chronic fatigue, Business Insider reported.

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One young patient who had improved after three weeks of rest saw symptoms return sporadically over the past five months.

The emphasis was initially placed on speedily saving patients’ lives amid the pandemic. As doctors gradually learned more about the coronavirus and lowered mortality rates, however, scientists and medical experts have shifted their focus to the 23 million people worldwide who have survived the infection.

Hector Calderon waves to well-wishers as he’s discharged from Kaiser Permanente Westside Medical Center in Hillsboro, Ore. Calderon spent days in the intensive care unit before recovering enough to be transferred to a skilled nursing facility on Monday, May 4. He was listed as the state’s first confirmed new coronavirus case on Feb. 28. (Jan Sonnenmair/The Permanente Federation via AP)

While prolonged recovery times were not out of the ordinary for patients hospital-stricken by pneumonia, many clinicians say that the number of COVID-19 patients with lingering issues is much higher than is seen with other viral illnesses, The Economist reported.

As if that weren’t enough, the problems patients experience are also more complex and varied, including heart, lung and psychological symptoms.

Additionally, some underlying issues may be “unmasked” by the disease, depending on the severity of the infection, according to Scientific American.

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While much remains unknown to doctors fighting the disease, coronavirus hallmarks such as lung damage, breathing problems, blood clots, heart inflammation, headaches and other neurological issues and extreme fatigue may help them identify additional treatment options.