Long term sequalae of COVID-19 infection


COVID-19 is an infectious respiratory disease that was first detected in Wuhan, China, in late 2019 and on March 13, 2020, in Kenya. It spreads rapidly, with a current prevalence of 759 million confirmed cases and over 759 million deaths globally.(Post COVID-19 Condition (Long COVID), n.d.)

Symptoms of COVID-19, may range from mild to severe. The most common symptoms include; fever, cough, loss of taste and smell, and fatigue. Mild but less common symptoms include sore throat, headache, diarrhea, aches and pain, red eyes and a skin rash. Severe complications include; dyspnea, loss of speech, confusion and chest pain. (Long COVID or Post-COVID Conditions | CDC, n.d.)

The average incubation period ranges from 5-6 days with a maximum of 14 days.

The short and long term effects of COVID-19 in the body is seldom acknowledged. Several studies have shown a possible short and long term effects that need to be studied further. COVID-19 infects the body by binding to the ACE-2 receptors located in various tissues and body organs. The ACE-2 receptors in variably distributed in the body, with the respiratory, cardiovascular and GIT having highest expression. The expression is however sparse in the endocrine glands.

There exist a variable presentation of long and short term complications. The long term complications, also called Long COVID, Post COVID, Long Haul COVID, Post-Acute sequalae of SARS-COV-2 Infection (PASC), Chronic COVID by various individuals and WHO.

These complications may run for weeks, months and years in individuals who are infected with COVID-19 or those with a history of COVID-19 infection. Individuals not vaccinated against COVID-19, have an increased risk of developing Long COVID-19 complications compared to the vaccinated ones. This complications may also occur in individuals who had not been tested to have COVID-19 but was infected but asymptomatic. (Post COVID-19 Condition (Long COVID), n.d.)

The long term effects of COVID-19 can be detrimental if left unmanaged. There exist no test to be used in the diagnosis of Chronic COVID-19, however it is based on the history of the patient based on COVID-19 exposure.   (Long COVID or Post-COVID Conditions | CDC, n.d.)

The symptoms of long COVID-19, are varied and may last from weeks, months or even years post infection. The symptoms can go away and relapse later.

The symptoms of Post COVID-19 include                                 

v  Fatigue (tiredness)

v  Fever

v  Dyspnea

v  Cough

v  Palpitations

v  Chest pain

v  Brain fog (inability to think and concentrate)

v  Sleep problems

v  Headache

v  Light headedness

v  Tingling sensations

v  Change in smell and taste

v  Anxiety

v  Depression

v  Diarrhea

v  Stomach pains

v  Muscle and joint pain

v  Rash

v  Changes in menstrual cycle


Some of the above symptoms are similar to that of chronic fatigue syndrome. This effects affects various body organs and systems including; heart, pancreas, blood and brain as compared to non-COVID-19 patients.(Long COVID or Post-COVID Conditions | CDC, n.d.)

Studies have shown that specific group of individuals are at a greater risk of Post COVID-19 effects as compared to the rest though the studies are not conclusive;

v  Individuals who experienced more severe COVID-19 illness and were hospitalized and needed ICU

v  Individuals who had underlying health conditions like diabetes prior to COVID-19

v  Unvaccinated individuals       

v  Individuals that experienced Multi system inflammatory syndrome during COVID-19

v  Health inequalities i.e. minority groups, disabilities and nature of work can also increase the risk of Post-COVID-19 infection.


The best way to protect yourself to prevent COVID-19 infections, by vaccination, maintaining social distance, hand washing among others

Kindly, if you experience any of the above symptoms, please seek medical care!!!

There is need for proper follow up of all COVID-19 patients


Long COVID or Post-COVID Conditions | CDC. (n.d.). Retrieved March 12, 2023, from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/long-term-effects/index.html

Post COVID-19 condition (Long COVID). (n.d.). Retrieved March 12, 2023, from https://www.who.int/europe/news-room/fact-sheets/item/post-covid-19-condition

















I am disciplined person who believes in team work with honesty and humility as my core values. As a medical student, I believe and advocate for evidenced based care. Am optimistic to pursue my role as an editor with determination and flexibility to be able to learn, unlearn and relearn for the sake of holistic care for humanity.



0 comment

Write the first comment for this!