Covid-19 may be a respiratory disease, but the long-term effects of contracting the virus may permanently affect much more along with the respiratory system. According to a study at the University of Miami, the long term of the virus can affect much more than the lungs. Since Covid-19 is still a new disease the true long-term effects are not certain.
Primarily Covid-19 attacks the lungs, and the virus usually causes pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome. Acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ADRS can be fatal and is a leading cause of permanent lung damage for Covid-19 patients. Even without ARDS patients will continue to have shortness of breath and feel very fatigued. Although less common, people with Covid-19 may also have long term issues with their cardiovascular system as well. This includes heart failure, heart rhythm problems, and clotting. Cardiologists have estimated that about a third of patients with Covid-19 develop myocarditis which is an inflammation of the heart muscle that reduces the ability of the heart to pump blood. In addition to chest pain, shortness of breath, and fatigue, the virus can cause clots. This can then cause a stroke, lung blockage, or heart attack.
Reports suggest that up to 30% of hospitalized patients develop moderate to severe kidney injury. Experts do not yet know how many people that develop kidney injury will have their kidneys to return to function normally. Those who do have kidney complications because of Covid-19 also have a much higher chance of developing chronic kidney disease.
Experts are constantly learning more about Covid-19, but it will be a long time before anyone is sure of all the long-term effects of the virus. There is not enough data to be sure of all the long-term effects of Covid-19, but it is apparent that the virus can cause serious problems that last after recovering from the virus.