Coronavirus long-term effects: Some Covid-19 survivors face lung scarring, heart damage, and anxiety
At first, Lauren Nichols tried to explain away her symptoms. In early March, the healthy 32-year-old felt an intense burning sensation, like acid reflux, when she breathed. Embarrassed, she didn’t initially seek medical care. When her shortness of breath kept getting worse, her doctor tested her for Covid-19. Her results came back positive. But for Nichols, that was just the beginning. “The guidelines that were provided by the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] were not appropriately capturing the symptoms that I was experiencing, which in turn meant that the medical community was unable to ‘validate’ my symptoms,” she says. An estimated 40 to 45 percent of people with Covid-19 may be asymptomatic, and others will have a mild illness with no lasting symptoms. Because Covid-19 is a new disease, there are no studies about its long-term trajectory for those with more severe symptoms; even the earliest patients to recover in China were only infected a few months ago.
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