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Post-COVID syndrome: How to deal with lingering symptoms

Be aware of the possibility of the virus catching you again, even after you test negative. This way, you keep a close watch on your symptoms

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
December 29, 2020 1:20:23 pm
Some people, despite testing negative, have lingering covid-19 symptoms. (Express photo: Amit Chakravarty

Covid-19 has numerous symptoms, ranging from cough and cold to breathlessness and fever. While not all infected people show these symptoms, many others who have tested negative and recovered continue to have symptoms like loss of smell or taste and even fatigue, joint pain, body ache, and more.

Explaining, Dr. Trupti Gilada, Infectious Disease Specialist at Masina Hospital, says this phenomenon is known as “post-Covid syndrome or long-haul Covid”. “Although various aspects of the syndrome still remain to be completely understood, what is clear is that the syndrome has significant unfavourable effects on the person’s quality of life, impacting family and social life as also work productivity,” she tells indianexpress.com

Below, she shares what one can do if they experience lingering Covid-19 symptoms.

Focusing on prehabilitation

If you have any pre-existing illness and continue to show Covid-19 symptoms, visit your doctor to ensure you are doing well and also to understand what additional measures you need to take. “For those with diabetes, your HbA1C values should be 6.5mg/dL or below with appropriate diet, exercise, and medications. A balanced nutritious diet, good hydration, and regular physical exercises are essential even for the healthy and young to decrease the risk of post-covid syndrome,” says the doctor.

Be aware of the possibility of the virus catching you again, even after you have tested negative. This way, you keep a close watch on your symptoms

Don’t panic

If, by any chance, your symptoms aren’t subsiding — do not panic. If you continue to have symptoms even weeks after you first fell sick, check with your doctor and plan the treatment accordingly.

Allow yourself to relax

Your body has just fought a virus, it needs time to recover. “Give yourself a few days to get back to the routine instead of hastily bouncing back. Do not hesitate to ask for help whenever required,” shares the doctor.

For those who love working out, it is best to begin with low-intensity exercises, while concurrently monitoring heart rate, pulse rate, and blood pressure. “An increase in exercise should be based on one’s symptoms and these parameters,” says Dr Gilada.

Do not ignore symptoms

When you feel something isn’t right, consult your physician for a detailed evaluation. “For example, a CT scan of the chest or pulmonary function test may be needed for persistent breathlessness. A recovery plan often comprises physical therapy and counselling with or without medications,” says the doctor.

While there is medication to get relief from certain symptoms like joint pain or headache, there is no specific treatment for loss of smell/taste. “For these, the only thing needed is reassurance and patience. Don’t fall for false claims,” adds Dr Gilada.

Do not self medicate, it can do more harm than good.

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