What may Happen During Your Recovery Period of Covid-19
If you are diagnosed with a new coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, you may have many questions, including: “What should I do next?”
“There are still many things we don’t know about the new crown virus. But we have obtained a lot of information from our European and Asian counterparts and the experience of the United States in a short period of time”, the family doctor of the Houston Methodist Medical Group Day Clinic Dr. Joshua Septimus, medical director and associate professor, said so.
The following are the things that may happen during your recovery from the new coronavirus, and the information you need to know once you recover.
What can happen when you recover from a new coronavirus (COVID-19) infection
The recovery process for COVID-19 (including how long you can recover) depends on whether you are mild, moderate or severe.
Recovery from mild symptoms of new coronavirus
Dr. Septimus said that 80% of people infected with the new coronavirus (COVID-19) will have mild symptoms or be completely asymptomatic.
“We expect people with mild symptoms to recover within a week to 10 days,” Dr. Septimus said: “If you have mild symptoms, the recovery process is expected to be similar to other severe respiratory viral infections, such as the flu.”
Recovery from moderate coronavirus symptoms
For patients with more acute and more severe symptoms of COVID-19 infection (for example, in some cases, they need to go to the emergency department or hospital), the recovery process is longer.
“In the process of recovering from moderate COVID-19 symptoms, it is very likely that you will experience symptoms such as fatigue, coughing and shortness of breath for a longer period of time,” Dr. Septimus said: “These symptoms may last for several weeks.”
Recovering from severe COVID-19 symptoms
The recovery of severely ill patients with the new coronavirus may take several weeks to several months, and they may also need to enter the intensive care unit or even use a ventilator.
In some people, the disease may worsen and develop into pneumonia, or the immune system may release a very powerful “cytokine storm” to destroy the virus. This strong inflammatory response can lead to so-called acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which damages lung tissue and even causes respiratory failure.
“If you are recovering from severe symptoms of the new coronavirus, it may take some time for your physical strength and lung function to return to normal.” Dr. Septimus said: “If you use a ventilator, you will need a certain period of treatment to recover your autonomic function and discharge from the hospital. , The exact time depends on how much energy you have lost and how much damage your lungs have suffered.”
Even if you have recovered, you may still be contagious for some time
Even if the fever has gone and your symptoms have gone for a few days, remember that you may still be contagious.
“There is evidence that even if someone is asymptomatic for 72 hours, it is possible to continue to transmit a small amount of the virus through respiratory droplets-although it is not clear how long the exact duration will be,” said Dr. Septimus: “In addition, you may be one to two Zhou continued to excrete the virus in the stool”.
This means that even after you recover, you should consider wearing a mask in public or at home. You should also disinfect the bathroom surfaces that you touch frequently after using the bathroom, including the flusher and faucet handle, and wash your hands with soap and water.
The side effects of COVID-19 may be long-term
Similar to patients recovering from severe pneumonia, severe patients with the new coronavirus (COVID-19) characterized by ARDS may have long-term lung damage.
“In addition, there is evidence that some people are prone to developing cardiomyopathy after a few weeks of recovery from the new coronavirus (COVID-19).” Dr. Septimus said: “For those who seem to be fully recovered, this is one of our biggest concerns.”
We do not yet know if you will be infected with the new coronavirus (COVID-19) again
For certain types of infections, the body can develop immunity to specific microorganisms, thereby protecting you from re-infection. But for the new coronavirus, it is not clear whether it will be infected again after recovery.
“We hope that patients infected with the new coronavirus will be immune for at least a period of time, but we are not sure yet,” said Dr. Septimus.
Antibody-rich plasma may help fight the new coronavirus (COVID-19)
In the absence of a new coronavirus vaccine or effective treatment, doctors and scientists at the Houston Methodist Medical Group (Houston Methodist) used an experimental blood transfusion therapy, called convalescent plasma therapy, to treat severe new coronavirus (COVID -19) Patients.
“Convalescent plasma therapy” uses the plasma of people who have recovered from the new coronavirus infection and infused it into the body of the person being treated. It is hoped that the plasma of recovered patients can contain powerful antibodies, which can help others fight the new coronavirus more effectively.
“At a special critical moment when the critically ill patient seems hopeless, someone willing to donate plasma may save lives,” said Dr. Septimus: “Because it is still in the experimental treatment stage, it cannot be fully guaranteed whether the recovery period plasma therapy is completely effective. , But it’s worth a try.”