In most cases, people who have suffered from Covid-19 make a full recovery, although the
symptoms may persist in some patients after treatment. If the symptoms persist for more than
four weeks after treatment, it is referred to as the long-lasting health effects of Covid-19. The
first case of Covid-19, also known as SARS-CoV-2, was reported in Wuhan, China, in 2019 and
was later declared a pandemic by World Health Organisation on 11 th March 2020 (Alsan et al.,
2021). The symptoms of Covid-19 may be clinically represented as a loss of taste or smell,
dizziness, fatigue, difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath, muscle and joint pain, fever,
chest pains, and general body weakness (Vahia et al., 2020). These symptoms mainly persist in
older people and people with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure,
and heart conditions (Douglas et al., 2020). Essentially, the persistence of Covid-19 signs and
symptoms may result in organ damage, blood clot and blood vessels damage, fatigue and general
body weakness, distorted sense of smell and taste, and breathing problems.
To begin with, continuous exposure to the Covid-19 virus may lead to organ damage. Ideally,
Covid-19 mainly affects the lungs though the virus may spread to other body organs such as the
kidney, the heart, the liver, and the brain and damage them (Douglas et al., 2020). A recently
conducted study showed that multi-organ dysfunction resulting from Covid-19 is depicted by
acute liver damage, acute lung failure, acute kidney injury, neurological disorders, hematological
disorders, and cardiovascular diseases (Alsan et al. 2021). Health complications may occur even
after recovery from Covid-19 due to organ damage; however, the degree of damage differs from
one person to another. Some people may develop long-lasting breathing problems because of
damaged lungs, heart complications, and stroke due to cardiovascular damage, chronic kidney
impairment resulting from damaged kidneys, and even temporary paralysis (Kirwan et al., 2020).
When one is continually exposed to the Covid-19 virus, their organs and tissues eventually get
Blood clot and blood vessel damage occur when exposed to the Covid-19 virus for a long
time. Scientists from Tel Aviv University in Israel revealed that five of the 29 Covid-19 proteins
are responsible for clotting blood vessels. In the study, the scientists used RNA of the 29
proteins and examined their behavior when different RNA sequences are put into the human
body (Alsan et al., 2021). Through this experiment, they were able to identify the five proteins
that led to blood clotting in the vessels. These protein signals from platelets tend to cause
inflammation of blood vessels, abnormal clotting, and eventually damage of vessels. Essentially,
most cases of heart damage due to the Covid-19 virus result from tiny blood clots that block
minor blood vessels like capillaries, while heart attacks and strokes stem from large blood clots
in major vessels like arteries (Douglas et al., 2020). These blood clots may also occur in the
liver, kidney, and lungs and damage them. Prolonged exposure to the Covid-19 virus causes
leakage in blood vessels which weakens them, thus long-lasting health problems.
Additionally, prolonged exposure to the Covid-19 virus results in fatigue and general body
weakness. In most cases, when one is exposed to Covid-19 for a long period, their body organs
become damaged; thus, they malfunction, which brings about fatigue and general body weakness
(Alsan et al., 2021). These people also needed mechanical assistance to perform normal body
functions such as breathing when they were admitted for severe Covid-19 symptoms; thus, their
organs are not used to function without help which eventually leads to fatigue (Vahia et al.,
2020). After the infection, most people's bodies develop an immune system that continually
responds to the Covid-19 virus and other problems that result from the virus; hence they are
always fatigued (Kirwan et al., 2020). Poor sleep patterns, change in daily routine, reduced
levels of physical activities, demanding work and responsibilities, low moods, and anxiety may
also result in increased fatigue levels in Covid-19 patients (Vahia et al., 2020). Recovering
Covid-19 patients may also suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, a complex body disorder
clinically characterized by extreme tiredness from physical and mental activities which does not
improve even after resting (Douglas et al., 2020). General body weakness and fatigue may occur
when one experiences the Covid-19 symptoms for long.
Subsequently, distorted sense of smell and taste and breathing difficulties occur when one
experiences the Covid-19 symptoms for a long. It is apparent that distortion of olfactory body
functions such as sense and smell is the most significant symptom of Covid-19 and could be
used to predict one’s Covid-19 status (Alsan et al., 2021). Researchers have discovered that most
people who suffer from Covid-19 regain their sense of taste and smell after recovery; however, a
small percentage of about 10% continue to experience a distorted sense of smell and taste.
Consequently, continuous exposure to Covid-19 brings about breathing problems (Kirwan et al.,
2020). Covid-19 damages the lungs and leads to complications such as pneumonia, sepsis, and
acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). When one acquires Covid-19 pneumonia, their
lungs get filled with fluid which makes breathing difficult. The progress of Covid-19 pneumonia
leads to acute respiratory distress syndrome, which occurs when the alveoli are filled with fluid,
leading to eventual lung damage and shortness of breath (Kirwan et al., 2020). Distorted sense of
smell and taste, and breathing difficulties are some of the effects of continuous exposure to
In conclusion, some of the long-lasting health effects of Covid-19 to patients include organ
damage, blood clots and blood vessels damage, fatigue, general body weakness, distorted sense
of smell and taste, and breathing problems. However, research shows that the prolonged effects
of Covid-19 are not limited to the above as the virus keeps mutating; hence research is still
ongoing. Many people fully recover from Covid-19; however, the effects of the virus may be
long-lasting in other patients. That's why it is important to take the necessary precautions to
avoid contracting the virus and prevent its spread. Some of these precautions may include
wearing a mask in public, constantly sanitizing hands and surfaces, maintaining social distancing
at work and in public gatherings, getting vaccinated, and immediately treating the symptoms
once they are presented. The government should also ensure that screen devices and vaccines to
prevent Covid-19 are readily available.
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Douglas, M., Katikireddi, S. V., Taulbut, M., McKee, M., & McCartney, G. (2020). Mitigating
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Kirwan, R., McCullough, D., Butler, T., de Heredia, F. P., Davies, I. G., & Stewart, C. (2020).
Sarcopenia during COVID-19 lockdown restrictions: long-term health effects of short-
term muscle loss. Geoscience, 42(6).
Vahia, I. V., Jeste, D. V., & Reynolds, C. F. (2020). Older adults and the mental health effects of
COVID-19. JAMA, 324(22).