COVID-long haulers: People who have tested negative but continue to battle the symptoms


COVID-long haulers: People who have tested negative but continue to battle the symptoms

Who are COVID long-haulers?

01/5People who have tested negative for COVID-19 but continue to battle the symptoms

As we enter the tenth month of the pandemic, the cases of COVID-19 infection continue to soar worldwide with no peak in sight. While researchers and medical experts across the globe continue to learn more about the novel contagion and its bizarre array of symptoms, it is becoming clear that the battle with COVID-19 is not an easy one. While the infectious disease was earlier thought to be a respiratory infection, it has become evidently clear that the virus manifests differently in different people. From severe lung damage, heart attack, life-threatening clots to stroke and memory loss, the after-effects of the debilitating illness are much graver than previously thought.

02/5Who are COVID long-haulers?

There is a growing number of people worldwide who have survived COVID-19 but continue to battle the symptoms of the illness, long after they have clinically tested negative for the disease. These people suffer from disabling after-effects of the disease after they have been declared COVID-free, with some even experiencing newer symptoms after testing negative. They are called long-haulers. One of the most frustrating aspects of being a long-hauler is that you don’t quite know when the symptoms of the disease will finally subside as the current pandemic is only months old.

03/5The disease that ever ends?

Another aspect is that these symptoms may be dismissed by doctors as psychological issues, further worrying the long-hauler who doesn’t quite understand what is wrong with him/her. While there is increasing online support for people with long-lasting COVID-19 symptoms, the medical community is still struggling to find answers for these bizarre after-effects of COVID-19.

04/5Most common symptoms faced by long-haulers

Some of the most common symptoms of a long-haul COVID-19 are same as coronavirus and include extreme fatigue, muscle or body ache, shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing, massively reduced stamina, exhaustion, inability to exercise or lead an active lifestyle, memory problems, and dizziness. Long-haulers may also experience a racing heart and even a persistent loss of smell. They complain of not being able to go back to their previously active lifestyles or return to the workplace.

According to a study conducted by Bristol-based Southmead Hospital, almost 75 per cent of the patients admitted to the hospital continued to battle the symptoms of COVID-19, even after being declared COVID-free. On an average, patients said that the coronavirus symptoms lasted for three months and maximum patients admitted to suffering a difference in the quality of life.

Another preliminary study supports the higher-than-average risk of heart inflammation and heart failure in COVID-19 survivors.

05/5What can you do?

As scientists and the medical community echo similar sentiments that they need more time to evaluate and understand the virus, for long-haulers it all boils to taking proper care of yourself. This includes getting plenty of rest, drinking a lot of fluids and including fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. It is important to treat the symptoms as and when they come and do not panic. You have already survived COVID-19, so this too shall pass. It is time to be gentle with yourself and take each day as it comes.


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