Nima Wangdi

People might recover from the Coronavirus infection but Long Covid, which is also known as post-Covid conditions or long haul, might be serious, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

CDC cautions people to prevent themselves from contacting the virus because of the Long Covid.

Long Covid is when people continue to have symptoms of Covid-19 for weeks or months after the initial illness.

Online sources state it includes a range of health problems that people may experience four or more weeks after being infected with the virus.

“These may be new or ongoing symptoms that can last for weeks or months, including shortness of breath, fatigue, cough, headaches, joint and muscle aches, brain fog, stomachaches, sleep disturbances, dizziness, changes in smell and taste and rashes,” CDC stated.

It also stated that Long Covid is not fully understood, and there is no internationally agreed definition. “Therefore, measures of how common it is or what symptoms are involved vary.”

A large study by University College London (UCL) identified 200 symptoms affecting 10 organ systems,” an article by BBC stated. “But patient surveys have identified tens and even hundreds of other symptoms.”

The report stated that these include hallucinations, insomnia, hearing and vision changes, short-term memory loss and speech and language issues. “Others have reported gastro-intestinal and bladder problems, changes to periods and skin conditions.”

It also stated that the severity of symptoms varies, but many have been left unable to perform tasks like showering or remembering words. “However these symptoms can have other causes too.”

Internet sources show that people who have been vaccinated are less likely to have Long Covid. “The vaccine, besides preventing people from contacting Covid-19 in the first place and also prevent infections turning into Long Covid but it is less clear.”

Internet sources also state that these long-term symptoms can affect anyone who was infected, not just those who had severe Covid-19. “It is hard to predict who will have persistent symptoms.”

Will Omicron infection lead to Long Covid?

An infectious disease specialist and associate professor at Rush University Medical Centre, Michael Lin, said to the Rush Stories journal that it is too early to know how many omicron infections will lead to long-haul symptoms. “It is important for the scientific community to evaluate but we don’t have data.”

Bhutanese health experts

Clinical microbiologist and the health ministry’s technical advisory group member, Dr Tshokey, recently said on the national television that although people recover from the virus, Long Covid is serious.

He said researchers have found that the children who contacted Covid-19 are likely to develop heart and kidney diseases in the future while adults might develop lung disease. “It is also said that the damaged lungs of the patients also don’t recover to their normalcy ever after the infection.”

However, Kuensel could not get further information on the Long Covid from the Bhutanese health experts.