What are the effects of Long Covid? Expert answers A to Z Counsel

Nearly three years after the Covid-19 pandemic began, the effects of the deadly infection are expected too linger for a long period of time.

According to the data released by the World Health Organisation (WHO), at least 17 million people in the European region have experienced symptoms of Long Covid in the last two years.


WHO has defined Long Covid as a condition that occurs in individuals with a history of probable or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, usually three months from the start of Covid-19.

Experts say that Covid-19 symptoms persisting beyond 4-6 weeks after recovery is called Long Covid. “It persists and consists of so many constellations of symptoms that are basic, subjective and sometimes, vague,” says Dr Neha Rastogi Panda, Consultant Infectious Diseases, Fortis Hospital, Gurugram.

She adds that most people think that fatigue could be a part of recovery, but it might be a symptom of Long Covid, which can be diagnosed by a medical expert. “More than 200 plus symptoms have been recorded when we researched Long Covid that can range from weakness, variations in hunger, continuous acidity to prolonged nausea, stomach bloating, indigestion, constipation or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), memory effect,” says Dr Panda.

Effects of Long Covid. (Photo courtesy: PTI)

Another symptom of Long Covid is the altering frequency of the urination, which sometimes is termed UTI (urinary tract infection), but many times, this condition is a self-manifestation of Covid-19.

“If people had problems with breathing during their Covid-19 diagnosis or required oxygen, they might have difficulty breathing or might cough continuously, which is another sign for Long Covid,” says Dr Panda.

“One of the most important effects of Covid-19 that one should be aware of is the psychiatric problem. One can experience a decline in memory power, especially in connection with Covid-19. They can also have some behavioural issues. Mood swings may be observed too. These are, in fact, silent symptoms of Long Covid,” she says.


– Chest-related symptoms: If breathing or cough continues, it can affect one’s working and breathing capacity.
– Continuous weakness and fatigue: This can cause anxiety and stress and affect one’s overall daily living.
– Gastric effects: Feelings of acidity, vomiting, indigestion and bloating can be observed in daily life be can be troubling to not a person but their family members too.

Since more cases of Long Covid are being reported globally, Dr Panda says around 4 crore people in India are suffering from at least one of the symptoms of Long Covid. “In my personal experience, I have seen more than 75 plus patients who have been, in some way or the other, in the last three months, complaining gastric problems, persisting weakness and fatigue, sleep disturbances and dry cough that almost sounds like that of an asthmatic person,” she says.

Effects of Long Covid. (Photo courtesy: PTI)

Since Long Covid is an “emerging entity” that is important for awareness, one shouldn’t take it lightly. “Anything could be a hidden symptom of Long Covid. One should follow up with a medical expert,” says Dr Panda.

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