With COVID cases gradually decreasing, a number of people are facing post COVID complications. With an increasing recovery rate, the number of people with these issues will increase in the coming weeks.

The exact picture of Post COVID Syndrome/Long COVID as it is now called is still emerging, with experts contemplating that the effects may last as long as a year in some patients. With the research on this still at early stages, there is of course a lot of anxiety among COVID recovered patients. Like in the case of Dr. Divya (name changed) who worked as an intern at a City Government Hospital, she couldn't regain her sense of smell for up to three months post her recovery from mild COVID.

Some others like Mr. Shiva Krishna (name changed) are now having to follow-up regularly for long weeks for renal issues that arose as a complication during his COVID infection.

SO WHAT ARE THE COMMON SYMPTOMS?

 Persistent cough

 Severe fatigue- cannot carry out day to day activities, joint pains

 Insomnia

 Headaches

 Loss of taste and smell

 Loss of appetite

 Memory impairment /Brain fog

 Rashes over the body

Most of these symptoms like loss of smell, taste, and appetite can be regained slowly; some may take weeks for others it may take as long as six months too. Some of the others like rashes are self-limiting.

WHAT TO DO DURING COVID RECOVERY?

 It is important to take life post-COVID easy for a few weeks to allow the body to regain strength and to heal. Strenuous work and stress should be avoided at all costs.

 Practicing a daily routine, doing (only)simple exercises, having a good nourishing, healthy meal, and having a relaxation activity like yoga, music helps to ease out fatigue slowly and allow the mind to relax. These in turn help in having a good sleep cycle.

 A good diet goes a long way in alleviating a lot of these symptoms and also helps in faster recovery. Drinking lots of water, juices and having a nutritious diet are key.

 A follow-up consultation (teleconsultation preferably) with your doctor after 7days of your recovery/discharge is a must for everyone including those who recovered with home isolation.

 Daily monitoring of oxygen saturation (>94% at room air) and body temperature will alert you to seek medical help if needed.

 Monitoring of sugar levels and blood pressure (in diabetics and hypertensives) continuing your non-COVID medications as per the doctor's advice.

WHEN TO SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL HELP?

 Leg pains or one-sided swelling - can be clots

 Symptoms of Mucormycosis/Black fungus-like eye pain, facial pain, etc

 Severe pain in the chest, stomach

 Dizziness on standing

 Breathlessness, SpO2 <95% at room air

 High grade fever

WHEN CAN YOU VACCINATE?

Those who have recovered from COVID, including those who have taken 1st dose of vaccine prior to their infection, should wait for three months to get vaccinated.

Dr Mahishma K

The author is a consultant paediatrician and an assistant professor of paediatrics.

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