BY PHYLLIS MBANJE
HEALTH experts have warned that COVID-19 survivors may experience long-term after-effects of the virus.
In Zimbabwe, many coronavirus survivors are now battling to live with post-COVID-19 conditions which require more medical attention.
A teacher, who survived the virus, told NewsDay that she is still suffering from joint pains and severe headaches.
“I thought I had been infected again, but after a negative test, the nurse explained to me that I had long-COVID,” said the teacher who declined to be named.
Kuda Musasiwa, an entrepreneur, also revealed that last month he suffered from COVID-19, but is still battling with after-effects.
“I’m going mad with COVID-19. Most people who recover will tell you that it is the most horrible disease when it gets you properly. You ‘survive’ but you really don’t recover. It’s a daily battle,” Musasiwa said.
A report by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) states that post-COVID conditions are a wide range of new, returning or on-going health problems which people can experience for four or more weeks after being infected with the virus.
It further states that even people who did not have COVID-19 symptoms in the days or weeks after they were infected can have post-COVID conditions.
Mpilo Central Hospital acting chief executive officer Solwayo Ngwenya confirmed that people can have different types and combinations of health problems post-COVID-19.
“COVID-19 is a fairly new disease and we are learning everyday, but the post effects will ravage survivors. Long COVID can affect one’s brain cells and causes one to suffer from what is called brain fog where one forgets things,”Ngwenya said.
He said it is yet to be ascertained if post-COVID symptoms would be temporary or last for life, adding that it might also affect work output for those in employment.
“You will start forgetting things and some have complained of persistent headaches,” he said.
He said people, who have been infected with coronavirus, have reported long-lasting effects like fatigue, coughs and chest pains.
“Some patients have reported suffering from severe fatigue. The virus affects the muscles. Some male patients have reported erective dysfunction as some of the post-COVID effects. We do not have statistics yet since this is a new disease,” Ngwenya said.
The CDC report also said some people were experiencing a range of new or on-going symptoms that could last weeks or months after infections with the virus that causes COVID-19.
“Multi-organ effects can affect most, if not all, body systems, including heart, lung, kidney, skin, and brain functions,” read the CDC report.