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COVID-19 leaving long term effects in patients

Scarring of the lungs, shortness of breath, lack of smell and inflammation of the heart are some of the ailments COVID-19 leaves in patients.

ARIZONA, USA — Doctors and medical professionals continue to learn more about COVID-19. And in some respects, it is worse than initially thought.

Scarring of the lungs, shortness of breath, lack of smell and inflammation of the heart are some of the ailments COVID-19 leaves in patients long after the acute illness has passed. 

And those symptoms are not limited to those who are older, suffer underlying conditions or battle more severe cases.

“We’ve also seen these long-term COVID symptoms with people who have been very mildly symptomatic and young and otherwise healthy. So, we don’t completely understand it," said Dr. Shad Marvasti, who is with University of Arizona’s College of Medicine. 

In the big picture, this lack of understanding makes proactive treatment options difficult, according to the doctor. 

However, there is a promising preemptive option: at the onset of COVID-19, use steroids to limit excessive inflammation, which Marvasti says wreaks havoc on patients’ organs. 

Unfortunately, the doctor says hospitals aren’t regularly able to give patients that care.

“We just don’t have the staff or the space...Then that’s potentially going to increase the risk of more folks with long COVID and also poor outcomes,” Marvasti said. 

The doctor says this virus's ability to directly cause these long-term effects is unprecedented. 

His message to Arizonans: “I hope people take things more seriously, because they realize that it’s not as simple as just powering through a cold or a flu.”

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