It is quite difficult to imagine that COVID-19 is not even a year old, yet this virus has managed to disrupt every aspect of humanity. As the medical community first became aware of this novel coronavirus, it was treated as similar viruses such as SARS and MERS and was considered to be a respiratory infectious illness. With its symptoms varying from very mild to severe, depending on the health and age of the host, many even compared COVID-19 to influenza, as some people experienced symptoms like those of a mild cold or flu.
As the virus became a global pandemic, taking the lives of thousands across the world and infecting millions, scientists have been able to gain further understanding of COVID-19. Eleven months since the virus was first reported to the World Health Organization, the medical community now knows that COVID-19 is not just a respiratory illness, but in fact, can affect the entire body in many ways.
Despite the tremendous loss of life so far to this virus, most people infected by COVID-19 have survived. However, unlike the cold or flu, some COVID-19 survivors are suffering some serious long-term effects from this virus. According to the University of Miami, “COVID-19 is showing itself to be much more than respiratory disease. It can affect organs beyond the lungs – from the skin to the kidneys – potentially creating long-term health issues.”
Advisory Board lists the following among the potential long-term health effects currently being observed in COVID-19 patients:
- Blood clotting, stroke, and embolisms
- Heart damage
- Lung damage
- Neurological symptoms
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of a cure,” is a quote from Benjamin Franklin that rings true today. There is currently no definitive cure for COVID-19 as vaccines are still not readily available. Prevention is still our best weapon against this virus. The virus affects everyone differently. Even for those who may have had mild symptoms, scientists still do not know how the virus may affect them later in life. So, continue to practice proper hygiene, social distance and wear a cloth face covering when in public areas with other people.
To speak with a healthcare provider to assess any non-emergency health concerns, including suspected COVID-19 symptoms, please call (305)751-1500 for our Miami-Dade clinic or (954)289-0000 for our Broward clinic. For life-threatening emergencies, always call 911. For coronavirus updates and resources, please visit our website at www.primarymed.com.