While COVID-19 does leave long-term effects on survivors, a new study suggests that those effects can heal over time. With the right treatment, these effects can heal quicker.
COVID-19 Long-Term Effects
Two different studies have described the long-term effects of COVID-19. Mainly, the virus causes lung damage that lasts for a long time. The researchers shared their work at the European Respiratory Society International Congress.
In a press release, one of the researchers, Dr. Sabina Sahanic, said that lung damage from COVID-19 does heal over time. While the research is still early, this news suggests that the lungs can heal themselves.
Dr. Sahanic is working toward a clinical Ph.D. at the University Clinic in Innsbruck, Australia.
For their research, Dr. Sahanic’s team studied 86 patients who had severe COVID-19. These patients enrolled in the study between April and June. The team looked at the patients six weeks after they went home from the hospital. Next, the team evaluated the patients 12 weeks after going home. For the third test, the team will look at the patients at 24 weeks.
At six weeks, about 65.9% of the patients still suffered COVID-19 symptoms, such as shortness of breath and cough. However, only 56% of the patients showed problems in their chest CT scans at 12 weeks. Over 88% of them had troubling CT scans at six weeks.
The other study at the conference showed that lung rehabilitation helped 19 patients with severe COVID-19. The treatment helped the patients improve their strength, balance, and lung capacity. Moreover, the treatment also helped reduce their fatigue and their risk of depression and anxiety.
These studies give hope that survivors can return to their everyday lives after COVID-19.