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What Happens After Recovery From COVID?

What Happens After Recovery From COVID?

Despite all the safety measures, the risk of contracting the virus is always present. This is especially true for people who need to constantly go out to buy essential items or work. Should you contract the virus and survive it, what are the next steps? What happens after recovery from COVID?

What to Do If You Contract the Virus?

Do not go out without wearing a mask, never let “outside” items in the house unless they have already been disinfected, and take a bath immediately after going back home. These are just some of the new rules that COVID-19 has imposed in almost every household in our country. However, the transmission is still possible. As long as we go out, talk to people, and touch contaminated objects, the risk remains.

At this point, you must understand that how you respond to the virus directly affects what happens after recovery from COVID-19. You can “respond” in two ways: either you develop the symptoms, or you do not.

Asymptomatic vs Symptomatic Patients

People who do not develop the symptoms (asymptomatic) will go about their days like they normally do. They will not have an onset of fever or cough and generally would feel well. In other words, asymptomatic people do not necessarily need to “recover,” as they do not feel sick in the first place. However, they may unknowingly spread the virus to other people. It is worse if more vulnerable people contract the virus.

Asymptomatic Carriers: Can They Unknowingly Be Spreading COVID-19?

The more vulnerable population consists of people who:

  • Are over the age of 60
  • Have a pre-existing condition that compromises their health. This includes heart diseases, lung disorders, cancer
  • Are immuno-compromised
  • Had an organ transplant

If you or someone you know has any of the factors listed above, extra caution against the virus is advised.

The Symptoms

What happens after recovery from COVID-19 depends on the type of symptoms that you develop. Classifications of symptoms, which are consistent with various publications, include:

  • Mild
  • Moderate
  • Severe
  • Critical

Vulnerable patients have a higher risk of being classified to a lower level. The good news is, as you go down the level, the cases become less common. This means that patients who become critical are rare, while people who develop mild symptoms are more common.

Even with this knowledge, experts are still asking healthy people to be careful. This is because, although rare, some young and healthy people who contract the virus can become severely ill, and may die.

Typical Recovery Time of COVID-19 Patients

As mentioned earlier, what happens after recovery from COVID-19 depends on the type of symptoms you develop. Here’s an overview of the recovery for each classification:

  • Mild Symptoms – Patients who get mild symptoms typically recover within 7 to 14 days. Experts say it will feel like recovering from flu or other respiratory viral infection.
  • Moderate Symptoms – If you develop moderate symptoms, which often require hospitalization, your road to recovery may take several weeks. Additionally, you may also encounter cough, fatigue, and shortness of breath while recovering.
  • Severe Symptoms – A person who experiences severe symptoms or those who have become critical cases may find themselves confined in the ICU. They may even require the support of a ventilator. Recovery time takes anywhere from several weeks to months.

Now that you know about the typical recovery time, it is time to understand what happens after recovery from COVID-19.

What Happens After Recovery from COVID?

To understand what happens after recovery from COVID, you must first ascertain when you will be called a “recovered” patient. A patient is said to have recovered from COVID-19 if their symptoms clear out and they have tested negative in a virus test at least twice.

Asymptomatic people and those who have experienced only mild to moderate symptoms may get their pre-illness lung functions without a problem. However, those who needed ventilators may expect scarring and permanent lung damage. Generally, this means that while their lungs may get better, they will not be able to get their pre-illness lung functions back.

Other People’s Experience after Recovering from COVID-19

Some people have voiced their experiences as to what happens after recovery from COVID. Here are some of the things they experienced:

  • Heart attack due to blood clotting
  • Acute kidney failure that needs dialysis
  • Need for oxygen even after going home
  • Digestion problems
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Acute bronchitis attacks several times a month
  • Feeling of exhaustion while doing simple activities, like walking
  • Swelling of legs and feet
  • Pains and aches all over the body

Please note that the above conditions were from people who posted their experiences online. Hello Doctor cannot attest to their authenticity.

Does COVID-19 Ever Really Leave the Body?

After recovering from COVID-19, you may still be contagious. What happens after recovery from COVID is that the virus lingers for some time. Evidence suggests that even after being asymptomatic for 3 days, you will still “spread” a small amount of virus in the respiratory droplets. Further studies are needed to ascertain how long the virus stays in the respiratory droplets after recovery. Another study indicated that the coronavirus stays in a person’s stool for about a week or two after recovering.

Can COVID-19 Be Transmitted Through the Oral-Fecal Route?

Because of this, people who recover from the virus are still required to observe precautionary measures to prevent possible transmission. This includes home quarantine, wearing face masks, regular hand washing, and no sharing of personal items with others. The healthcare worker assigned in your case will most probably guide you on the policies and correct practices.

Recovery Rate in the Philippines

As of date, with over 30,000 confirmed cases, the number of recovered patients is 8,143. This accounts for a recovery rate of 26.5%. This figure is considerably lower than the recovery rates in our neighboring countries. For instance, Thailand has a recovery rate of 95.9% for its 3,151 confirmed cases. Singapore has 35,590 recoveries out of more than 41,000 confirmed cases. That accounts for a recovery rate of 84.1%.

COVID-19: New Life-Saving Drug Identified

What happens after recovering from COVID depends on a lot of factors. Your vulnerability and how mild or severe your symptoms are will affect your recovery. With this in mind, it is still best to be careful. Practice measures that will strengthen your immunity and prevent the spread of infection.

Learn more about COVID-19 here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Recovering From Coronavirus: What to Expect During and After Your Recovery
https://www.houstonmethodist.org/blog/articles/2020/apr/recovering-from-coronavirus-what-to-expect-during-and-after-your-recovery/
Accessed June 23, 2020

Coronavirus: what are asymptomatic and mild COVID-19?
https://patient.info/news-and-features/coronavirus-what-are-asymptomatic-and-mild-covid-19
Accessed June 23, 2020

Why are young, healthy people dying of coronavirus? The symptoms to look out for
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/body/why-young-healthy-people-dying-coronavirus/
Accessed June 23, 2020

I’ve Been Diagnosed With the New Coronavirus (COVID-19). What Should I Expect?
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/diagnosed-with-covid-19-what-to-expect
Accessed June 23, 2020

The Long-Term Health Impacts of Being Infected With the Coronavirus
https://elemental.medium.com/the-long-term-health-impacts-of-being-infected-with-the-coronavirus-d3a03f3cb6e8
Accessed June 23, 2020

What they don’t tell you about surviving COVID-19
https://www.sfgate.com/science/article/What-they-don-t-tell-you-about-surviving-15347792.php?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=CMS%20Sharing%20Tools%20(Desktop)&utm_medium=referral&fbclid=IwAR1aaidHyGKbO1dI6KnTxFbKQJ3D9ttSWK8t379wmkh-zaoXJA–E64OmdI
Accessed June 23, 2020

Can people spread coronavirus after they recover?
https://www.livescience.com/coronavirus-spread-after-recovery.html
Accessed June 23, 2020

https://www.coronatracker.com/country/philippines/
Accessed June 23, 2020

Picture of the author
Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. on Jun 23, 2020
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