Extreme Fatigue, memory loss, muscle atrophy as well as taste and smell, disturbed… the residual symptoms of patients cured of the COVID-19 generated a lot of concern among those who live, so that they take a long time to fade.
This is the case of Luc Boucher, a 56 year old man, who was suffering from coronavirus in march last, and that “away” for two weeks, with symptoms very intense, like a fever intractable, in spite of the medication.
After episodes of profuse sweating, extreme confusion, loss of taste and smell, muscle aches, sore throat and loss of balance, the man from the Beauce had hoped that this ordeal would be behind him, after the healing.
But this is not the case.
Even in July, Mr. Boucher, who describes himself as a person who has always been in shape, said feel still problems of smell, as well as a small cough ” tanning “. “I still have a lingering smell of campfire in the nose,” he explains.
Cured of the COVID-19
His wife, Hélène Denis, has also suffered from the disease. He indicated that in his case, it is the fatigue that remains pervasive. What they found most difficult, what are the psychological after-effects.
“I speak to you, and I turned again to the upside, because I was convinced that my wife was going to die there alone like a dog,” says Mr. Boucher.
Not only the elderly
Recently, there has been an increase of cases in younger adults, in contrast to the beginning of the pandemic where the majority of cases was in the accommodation centres for seniors.
However, even if the young adults are generally better, force is to admit that they may still experience residual symptoms of the COVID-19 a long time after the healing, as evidenced by George Aguiar.
“I have a semi-paralysis and muscle atrophy of the left hand. I feel almost over the top of my thighs and my forearms. My blood circulation in my left hand and my left foot is bad and my breathing capacity is no longer the same, ” lists the 47-year-old, a native of the Laurentians, which adds to be now unable to stay awake for a whole day.
Serve as an example
At the beginning of the month of April, a few days after you have received a diagnosis of COVID-19, the auxiliary health and social services had to be put in an induced coma, his body being unable to fight adequately the disease.
“The doctor told me : “I give you 30 minutes to call your family and tell them goodbye because I’m not sure that you will wake up” “, the breath of the man who didn’t expect to see his wife, his 7 year old son and his 9 year old daughter.
Today, nearly three months after his hospitalization, with 40% of its muscle mass in less and taken with sequelae persistent, George Aguiar hopes to serve as an example to all those who doubt the seriousness of this disease.
The long-term sequelae
Questions/answers with the Dr Mathieu Simon, pneumologist at the university Institute of cardiology and pneumology of Quebec (IUCPQ).
Question : Is it already possible to confirm links between residual symptoms reported and the COVID-19 ?
Response : We do not yet have a lot of recoil to speak of the long-term. The vast majority of patients will make a full recovery without sequelae. But if you enter to the intensive care unit for any reason, it is necessary to calculate, for each day passed, you will take a week to recover what you have lost. This is for a younger person without underlying disease. The majority of people who have been hospitalized, these are people who already had heart or lung disease. For them, the consequences can be the beginning of a disability is prolonged.
Q : Is it that there are symptoms that can persist or appear after a longer period of time ?
R : The after-effect that remains, a year after a severe infection that has led us to a stay in intensive care, it’s a mess of an emotional nature, psychological. It is said that a person who spends more than a week in intensive care has as much chance of develop a syndrome of post-traumatic stress disorder as a member of the military deployed in Afghanistan or Iraq. These patients have a risk of depression, insomnia, or suicidal risk is higher. We brought them into a very hostile environment, because we must make interventions very aggressive, in order to save their life. But we realize that it comes at the price of leaving a trace. That, that worries me. I’m not sure that the system is aware of and available to this kind of requests will appear.
Q : Is there a category of people more affected by residual symptoms ?
R : The people who complain about it are mostly young people who do not have the habit to be ill, and who are accustomed to work well. When they make a big infection, they do not realize that, regardless of lung infection that you do, well it takes between 6 and 12 weeks to recover.