New Study Finds COVID-19 Survivors Experience New Disabilities After Recovery
Aug 30, 2021
COVID-19 affects everyone differently. Some people had it and didn’t even know they did. Others were hospitalized because of severe symptoms. Across the country, more than half a million people have sadly died because of the virus. Of those who had serious cases of the coronavirus but survived, many are finding that the virus is having a long-term impact on their health.
Researchers have been studying the long-term effects of having COVID-19, especially for those who had a severe enough case of the disease to require hospitalization.
Researchers Find Long Recovery from COVID-19
Researchers studying the impacts of having a severe case of COVID-19 on survivors who were hospitalized found that it can be a long road to recovery for many patients. About half of the patients who were hospitalized with COVID-19 are experiencing new disabilities or another form of functional health decline.
Common COVID-19 Misconceptions
Many people believe that if you contract COVID-19, you either die from the disease or you recover and are fine. However, many people who were hospitalized require further care after they’re released from the hospital. 13% of people who were hospitalized with the disease had further care at a nursing or rehabilitation facility after they were discharged from the hospital. Even more, people have lasting symptoms from COVID-19 but are able to go home.
New Disabilities COVID-19 Survivors Experience
Just as there has been a wide range of experiences with the disease itself, people who were hospitalized with COVID-19 and survived are now experiencing a range of different symptoms as they take the long road to recovery. Doctors are calling this “long COVID” because these survivors have lasting negative health consequences as a result of having contracted COVID-19.
The lasting effects of COVID-19 can include:
- Poor physical fitness
- Lingering brain fog
- Lung damage
- Heart damage
- Brain damage
- Autonomic nervous system dysfunction
Plus, just being in the hospital, especially the ICU, can have lasting impacts on a patient’s health, including:
- Decline in muscle strength
- Decline in lung capacity
- Decline in heart capacity
- Cognitive impairment
- Memory impairment
Who Experiences New Disabilities from COVID-19?
Many people believe that COVID-19 only impacts those who are older or those who are already ill or infirm. However, many of those who are contracting COVID-19 and experiencing negative effects on their health long after being released from the hospital are actually younger, healthy people. Plus, even people who aren’t hospitalized due to COVID-19 can still experience a long recovery period and lasting negative effects on their health.