7 'Mild' Coronavirus Symptoms That Could be Dangerous
As the coronavirus continues to spread, it is becoming clear that "mild" symptoms don't necessarily equate to "harmless." A report, courtesy of The Guardian, claims that even healthy individuals who believed they had already recovered from the virus are reporting "persistent and strange symptoms"—including potentially deadly strokes —leading experts to wonder if even "mild" cases are more dangerous and complicated than previously believed. Keep reading to make sure you know what they are.
Blood Clotting and Strokes
Dr. Christopher Kellner, a professor of neurosurgery at Mount Sinai hospital in New York, tells The Guardian that he has witnessed such "mild" cases of COVID-19, that patients, as young as 30 — some with no symptoms — have chosen not to be hospitalized, only to experience blood clotting and severe strokes.
Doctors have learned that along with the lungs and blood, COVID-19 can infect the kidneys, liver, and brain. According to a Dutch report published earlier this month, 88 % of 1,622 COVID-19 patients with an average age of 53, reported a number of enduring and intense fatigue. An overwhelming majority of participants — 91% — weren't hospitalized, implying "mild" cases of coronavirus. Another crucial finding is that 85% of them deemed themselves generally healthy before becoming infected with the virus. A month after their infection, just 6% of them felt they still belonged in that category.
Mental health complications, such as depression, have also been reported as a long-term side effect of COVID-19. "Although the virus is not yet old enough for long-term effects on those organs to be well understood, they may manifest regardless of whether a patient ever required hospitalization, hindering their recovery process," The Guardian writes.
Another complication experienced from "mild" sufferers of the virus comes in the form of serious digestive problems. The Guardian illustrates the case of 26-year-old Fiona Lowenstein, who experienced a long, difficult and nonlinear recovery after being diagnosed with COVID-19. After being hospitalized for fever, cough and shortness of breath, she was sent home, and then experienced a whole new group of symptoms. "I experienced this whole slew of new symptoms: sinus pain, sore throat, really severe gastrointestinal issues," she revealed. "I was having diarrhea every time I ate. I lost a lot of weight, which made me weak, a lot of fatigue, headaches, loss of sense of smell …" Even now, months later, she claims some of the symptoms "routinely re-emerge."
Loss of Sense of Smell and Taste
One of the main coronavirus symptoms, loss of sense of smell and taste, can persist long after the virus is gone. Early data courtesy of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) found that, in COVID-19 patients who lost their sense of smell, 27% had "some improvement" within a week, while most were better within 10 days. However, there are other people who claim the symptoms linger for months. Health experts are still struggling to understand the mysterious side effect and why it impacts some, but not others.
While most people make a relatively rapid recovery, others experience lingering "long-haul" symptoms. The same Dutch report found that 75% experienced persistent shortness of breath and 45% chest pressure.
Some people have experienced a rotation of various symptoms — for weeks or even months. Ranit Mishori, a professor of family medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine, told the Washington Post, that she has seen a handful of patients with symptoms such as fatigue, sore throat, poor appetite, and minor lung congestion, that have lingered for months. "It's incredibly frustrating for the patients and the doctors taking care of them," she said. Some of them have even experienced rotating symptoms — fatigue one week, headache the next, sore throat after that. While they don't increase in severity, "It changes and lingers," she explains.
How to Avoid COVID-19
While the majority of people may recover from COVID-19 in less than two weeks, there are other "mildly infected" patients whose lives aren't going back to normal and are experiencing lasting side-effects of the highly infectious and potentially deadly virus—and some of them can be fatal. Don't let it happen to you, or someone you might infect. Remember the basics: wear a face covering, don't go into indoor spaces with people you aren't sheltering with unless it's essential, wash your hands frequently, practice social distancing. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 37 Places You're Most Likely to Catch Coronavirus.