Post Covid Syndrome: Don't ignore the warning signs, it can be lethal
It is important that after recovery from Covid-19, all patients should take safety precautions, medicines and regular follow up which will definitely reduce the complications and help in faster recovery, says Dr Dinesh V Kamath
From today onwards, India will start vaccinating people in the age group of 45 to 59 years of age suffering from pre-specified co-morbidities and those over the age of 60.
As India enters a critical stage of the world's largest vaccination drive, there are few things that people must understand about 'Post Covid Syndrome'.
Dr Dinesh V Kamath, Consultant for Internal Medicine at Manipal Hospitals in Malleshwaram, Bengaluru sheds more light on the 'Post Covid Syndrome'.
"From our experience of 9 months, 85 per cent of Covid-19 patients were either asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms and were treated at Home. About 10 per cent had moderate symptoms who required hospital admission for observation, treatment and oxygen support. Five per cent had severe symptoms and required ICU admission and intensive treatment.
Few mild cases and 60 per cent of moderate cases had persistent symptoms even after they recovered from COVID 19 disease. These symptoms were named 'Post COVID Syndrome' which lasted for 2 to 3 months. Their symptoms were fatigue, cough, breathlessness, myalgia, chest pain, joint pains, depression, insomnia and cognitive disorders.
Patients who had severe disease and were admitted to ICU also had symptoms after recovering from the illness. These included prolonged cough and dyspnoea requiring home oxygen support, secondary infections in the fibrosed lungs, thromboembolic complications in the heart and brain resulting in heart attack and stroke, acute kidney and liver failure requiring readmission to hospital.
These post-COVID complications were found more in the elderly who were either obese or diabetic or suffered from hypertension, heart disease, cancer, kidney disease or were chronic smokers.
To prevent these complications, people should be careful from the beginning. The elderly, obese, and people having co-morbid conditions should not unnecessarily go to public places.
All must follow cardinal rules of wearing masks, maintaining a safe distance and regular sanitisation of hands.
Even if they have mild symptoms, they should get tested and take immediate treatment.
People with severe symptoms should reach the hospital at the earliest, get admitted and take the necessary treatment. Even after recovery from the illness they should take safety precautions.
These include taking adequate rest and sleep, doing spirometric exercises daily, eating home-cooked food and checking vital parameters like temperature, oxygen saturation and respiratory rate regularly. They have to stop smoking and stop consuming alcohol.
They have to attend special post-Covid rehabilitation clinics for advice and counselling.
After discharge, they must follow up with the treating doctors and if required with other specialists too. As advised, follow up investigation has to be done. They must take the follow-up treatment regularly.
It is important that after recovery from Covid-19, all patients should take safety precautions, medicines and regular follow up which will definitely reduce the complications and help in faster recovery."