As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, reports are starting to emerge which paint a fuller picture of short- and intermediate-term damage to COVID survivors. Long-term studies obviously are years away, but we may increasingly see a pattern of symptoms and signs that indicate that while the patient may be considered recovered, significant ongoing issues remain.
A recent Science article by Jennifer Couzin-Frankel, “From ‘brain fog’ to heart damage, COVID-19’s lingering problems alarm scientists,” reviews some of these effects. Persistent problems include dyspnea, fatigue, tachycardia, joint aches, cognitive difficulties, persistent anosmia and multiorgan dysfunction. There are no large multicenter peer-reviewed studies on survivors published yet, only small studies measuring various outcomes with relatively small numbers of subjects.