Understanding the Long-Term Effects of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented times along. It has already resulted in the death of over a million people and still counting. However, numerous people have recovered from the disease due to palliative care. A certain number of individuals are experiencing effects in their physical and mental health even after initial recovery. In this blog, we have discussed such long-term effects that COVID-19 can leave even after being treated.

Mild long-term effects

The disease is known to leave mild effects on the recovered individuals. These effects are prominently seen among older people and people already having medical conditions. That being said, even certain younger adults, too, can experience certain symptoms. Some of the most commonly noted mild effects include:

  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Loss of smell
  • Loss of taste
  • Hair loss
  • Sleep problems

These effects can diminish either within weeks or continue to be seen even after months. However, these effects won’t cause much physical and mental discomfort to the individual. Care must be taken, and medical support must be sought if these effects are long-lasting or cause major changes in their daily functioning.

Severe long-term effects

The disease can also leave severe effects on individuals that can hamper their day-to-day life significantly, result in further severe complications, and even lead to the death of the person. The effects include organ failures, shortness of breath, cardiovascular diseases, and depression, to name a few. Here’s a look at some prominent long-term effects in detail.

Organ failures

human organs

The coronavirus is known to impact the lungs primarily. It can also result in the failure of other vital organs such as the heart, brain, and kidney.


Tests have shown long-term damaging effects on the heart muscle in people recovered from COVID-19. This can also decrease cardiovascular health, heart attacks, heart failure, and other severe complications in the future. People having frequent chest pains must consult a doctor immediately as it can be signs of a heart attack or other related complications.


The coronavirus can cause brain strokes, seizures, and paralysis. The chances of developing Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s also increases significantly in people who have acquired the coronavirus.


People can experience long-term breathing problems as the virus is known to cause damage to the air sacs found in the lungs. It can lead to pneumonia and also result in severe breathing issues.

Blood Clots

COVID-19 can weaken the blood vessels, causing them to leak. This can cause long-lasting issues related to the kidneys and liver. The virus is known to cause large clots that can affect and weaken the heart, liver, and kidneys. The blood clots, small and big, can even lead to a heart attack.

Mental health

Surviving through the COVID infection can be a devastating experience that can lead to long-term effects on the individual’s mental health. The trauma can be severe if the person has been admitted to an ICU or been on a ventilator. Individuals can suffer from anxiety, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder after surviving through COVID. A general decline in the mental health of the person may also be observed. Like physical health, the mental health of the individual who has survived COVID, too, shouldn’t be avoided. Professionals may advise medications, therapy, or counseling sessions depending upon the severity of the condition.

These are just the currently known effects of the coronavirus. There are still many unknown long-term effects of the virus yet to be discovered. The virus is still a mystery, with new revelations, such as a new mutation being recently discovered in the United Kingdom. Let’s hope that the COVID-19 episode gets over quickly and that we can return to our normal lives as early as possible in the upcoming year.

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