- Some coronavirus survivors are experiencing lingering symptoms even months after their initial diagnosis.
- Coronavirus symptoms which tend to linger more than most include fever, fatigue, confusion, and loss of taste and smell.
- Coronavirus survivors who endure ongoing symptoms are known as “long haulers.”
During an appearance before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on Wednesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci articulated that many coronavirus survivors are experiencing symptoms like fever and fatigue even months after an otherwise healthy recovery.
“I bring to your attention,” Fauci said, “the fact that a number of individuals who virologically have recovered from infection in fact have persistent, measured in weeks to months of symptomatology that does not appear to be due to persistence of the virus. They’re referred to as long haulers.”
Fauci added that some coronavirus patients — even those who were completely asymptomatic — have shown some heart abnormalities when examined under an MRI.
“We found to our dismay that a number of individuals who have completely recovered and apparently are asymptomatic, when they have sensitive imaging technologies, such as magnetic resonance, imaging, or MRI, have found to have a disturbing number of individuals who have inflammation of the heart,” Fauci explained.
There have also been instances where recovered coronavirus patients exhibit neurological issues and cognitive deficiencies, such as an inability to concentrate for sustained periods of time.
Fauci’s testimony in this regard isn’t all that surprising given that medical researchers have been observing lingering symptoms in coronavirus survivors for months now.
Earlier this month, for example, a research study revealed that recovered coronavirus patients can sometimes exhibit heart and lung damage months after the initial diagnosis.
The report reads in part:
The results reveal that six weeks after leaving hospital, 88% of patients still showed signs of lung damage in CT scans – such as patches resembling ground glass – while 47% of patients were experiencing breathlessness. At 12 weeks, these figures were 56% and 39% respectively.
In a similar vein, a CDC report published in July noted that people who tested positive for the coronavirus were liable to experience the following symptoms even months after testing positive: fatigue, cough, congestion, dyspnea, loss of taste and smell, chest pain, and confusion. As a quick aside, there are a handful of coronavirus symptoms that tend to subside completely after a few weeks, a list which includes vomiting and the chills.
The CDC report at the time further stated that approximately 33% of coronavirus patients are unable to return to their baseline level of health even three weeks after their initial diagnosis. When looking at coronavirus patients in the 18-34 range, that figure drops down to 20%.
While the precise reason underlying the novel coronavirus’s ability to cause ongoing symptoms remains unclear, we do know that the virus has a propensity to attack every organ in the body and not just the lungs. Some researchers and health experts believe this could be why recovered patients can sometimes endure a varied number of symptoms months down the line.