The focus of doctors and the general public is now on the coronavirus. And what about those who have managed to overcome the deadly disease? Will the consequences of COVID-19 pass without a trace? Indian pulmonologist Vikas Mauriya, as the Newkerala writes, believes that after recovery patients may have reduced lung function.
“Since this is a new virus, we don’t know how long it will stay in the body … But with experience with other respiratory viruses such as H1N1, we know that it can exist for weeks to months or years, depending on the degree of lung damage,” Mauriah believes.
For example, during cardio training – walking, jogging – a person whose lungs have been damaged during an illness may feel lack of air.
“Gradually, as the lungs recover, their capacity starts to increase. They may also react to some of the medications they give to recover from other respiratory viral infections,” explains Mauria.
Mauria’s colleague, Dr Punit Hanna of New Delhi, said studies in China, Japan and South Korea showed no serious lung damage in those who had suffered COVID-19.
“In about 20% of cases of severe pneumonia, there may be short-term damage in the form of mild fibrosis,” Hanna says.
Most patients are recovering fully. However, those who have suffered coronavirus pneumonia need to be well nourished and do breathing exercises to maintain the immune system.
“They should take regular medication for chronic diseases. There are few cases of re-infection, so they must strictly adhere to hand hygiene and social distance,” says Hanna.