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COVID-19 Long Hauler – Symptom Duration Reason

Serena Satcher, MD Serena Satcher, MD February 17, 2021
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Transcript

So COVID-19 is a multi-system disease that can affect every organ system in the body. And every cell that has an ACE receptor, which is every cell in the body. It's generally thought of as a respiratory disease, but there can be damage to the other organs that can persist and increase the risk of long-term health problems in COVID-19 long haulers. These organs that can be affected are number one, the brain. People can have strokes, seizures, degenerative changes like Guillain-Barre syndrome, autonomic nervous system dysfunction and psychosis and mental illness. COVID-19 can increase the risk of developing degenerative neurological diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. Number two is the heart. Studies show that imaging taken months after acute illness show lasting damage to the heart muscle and increase the risk of heart failure and arrhythmias. The damage does not seem to correlate with the severity of the disease so people can have mild disease and still have heart problems. This can increase the risk of heart failure and other complications in the future. And number three is the lungs. Generally, pneumonia is associated, and it can cause damage to the tiny air sacs in the lungs. The resulting scar tissue can lead to long-term obstructive types of breathing problems.

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