As COVID- 19 cases start to decrease in India, doctors throughout the country are starting to see post covid symptoms in a lot of patients. People with symptoms for more than 4 - 12 weeks, it is considered as ongoing post covid acute syndrome. In case, if the symptoms last for more than 12 weeks, it is called post covid syndrome or longcovid. Listing few symptoms that one needs to observe:

  • The most common post covid symptoms include difficulty in breathing, despite normal lung capacity some feel breathless while walking along with tightness in the chest.
  •  Cough and high pulse for several weeks, these symptoms can be because of the body’s  immune system
  • Chronic fatigue symptom is seen in most of the people who have recovered from Covid-19 with issues like joint pain, fatigue, body aches, headaches, etc.
  • Brain fog is one additional neurological symptom seen in a lot of post covid patients, people find it difficult to concentrate, suffer from insomnia and depression.
  • Constant headaches as well as symptoms of numbness/tingling in extremities.

Although most of the immediate complications of COVID-19 are well understood now, physicians are still trying to understand the technique of managing its long-term effects. The doctors initially felt that neurological and psychiatric symptoms would be more prevalent in severe covid-19 cases, but it was observed that it is more common in mild Covid- 19 cases. It seems mild cases can also result in long-term neurologic symptoms.

Currently, health experts are trying to understand how COVID-19 directly affects the brain. Nevertheless, as more people are getting better from the disease, more long-term complications are becoming apparent. A lot of experts speculate that the coronavirus can cross a protective assembly in the body called the blood-brain barrier. In doing so, it can affect the fluid that immerses the spinal cord and brain, resulting in different neurological appearances.

Another possibility is the virus aggravates an overall immune response from the whole body. This leads to inflammatory-related responses to numerous tissues and organs, including ones brain.

It seems the Indian government is planning to set up post covid-19 recovery clinics for complete recovery. These treatment programs are designed using current evidences and treatments that can help people get back to normal life.

There are no direct medications or remedies to treat all post COVID-19-related symptoms, but a lot of complications get better with time. Health experts can better understand the reason behind these symptoms, not just immediate but long-term effects and their management.

Recommendations for Post-Covid management

In its post-Covid management protocol, the Health Ministry has stated the first follow-up visit can be physical or telephonic for a recovered patient should be within seven days after discharge or if observing treatment at home then after receiving the negative report. Following treatment with regular visits maybe with the nearest qualified allopathic/AYUSH practitioner/medical facility of other systems of medicine is important. Poly-therapy (use of multiple medications) is to be avoided due to the potential for unknown drug-drug interaction, which may lead to adverse effects.

If one has dry cough or sore throat for quite some time, the Health Ministry recommends saline gargles (with turmeric and salt) and steam inhalation. Cough medication should be only on the advice of the doctor.

Precautions to be taken post Covid-19

People with lifestyle co-morbidities like hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases or renal failure should straightaway go back to their ongoing/pre-Covid medication.

Because of Covid-19, people are stopping their normal treatments based on what they have heard from unreliable sources, which is not the right thing to do. Just because you have Covid-19, it doesn't mean your other health issues are cured. Secondly, after recovering, one should consult a doctor and do some tests to see whether Covid-19 has had any impact on end organs like the heart, kidney, and liver.  One should get vaccinated 1-1.5 months after recovering from Covid-19.

Other important tips for post covid complete recovery:  staying hydrated, drinking plenty of fluids, practicing breathing exercises and meditation, following a good nutritious diet, getting adequate sleep, avoiding smoking and alcohol.