Filed on November 11, 2020

Many healthcare providers are seeing the need to identify and assess various post-covid effects on an individual which could be physical or mental, and addressing these medical needs with appropriate services. Exclusive clinics offer pulmonary-focused, multidisciplinary evaluation and care for patients who have recovered, but are battling mid and long-term persistent effects of the infection. At Zulekha Hospital a complete assessment is done by the pulmonologist to check for any lasting infections causing other ailments and subsequently referred to other specialists for further treatment depending on the diagnosis. For a better understanding two of our experts, Dr. Bhavin K. Sampat, Specialist Pulmonologist at Zulekha Hospital Sharjah and Dr. Hassan Razein, Specialist Respiratory Medicine at Zulekha Hospital Dubai answer frequently asked questions on post-covid recovery.

Once treated for COVID-19, what are the other ailments an individual may counter? Can these impact the person's lifestyle in the long term? 

After treatment for COVID-19, a patient may have symptoms like fatigue, cough, shortness of breath, headache, and joint pain. Patients diagnosed with severe pneumonia with covid-19 are more likely to have long term ailments. It can impact a person's lifestyle as well in long term. It is advised to approach your specialist and get a thorough assessment done if any of the above symptoms are seen.

How is COVID-19 being treated currently? How long does the treatment take on an average?

Currently COVID-19 infection is treated either at home with oral medication or at hospital in more severe cases; as per recommendations of national guidelines from Ministry of Health, UAE. Depending on the severity of infection, a person can be treated for two to three weeks. Patient may also receive symptomatic treatment after discharge from the hospital.

How can one differentiate between a common flu and COVID-19?

Common flu and COVID-19 symptoms could be similar like fever, cough and sore throat. Usually, one must see the doctor when the symptoms are persistent for a long time and a COVID-19 PCR test is recommended by a physician when COVID-19 is suspected.

What are some precautions you advise for patients who have been treated for COVID-19 and are recovering?

Patients must take adequate rest, good nutrition, good hydration, multivitamins and in some cases symptomatic medication and physiotherapy.

For patients who are already being treated for asthma what can be the complication if he/she is infected with COVID-19?

Patients with certain underlying medical conditions including asthma are at high risk of developing severe illness from the virus that causes COVID19. The person may develop moderate to severe asthma, leading to prolonged hospitalization, ICU admission post covid or even mechanical ventilation.

In patients with hypertension or depression, can they continue their medication while being treated for COVID-19?

For patient with chronic disease including hypertension and depression, they can control their conditions well with medication so it is recommended to continue the same medicine.

If a person is infected with COVID-19 twice, what are the chances of him transmitting the infection to others?

Although rare, if a patient is infected twice due to the same strain or different ones, the patient may spread the disease easily to others. But we have to clearly differentiate and diagnose a new infection and an individual being tested positive for a second time after a long gap from the first infection.

Can an emergency surgery be done on a patient who is COVID-19 positive? What precautions are taken in such cases?

Yes, when we have an emergency, we go ahead with the surgery, deliveries or life-saving procedures, which are usually carried out under strict infection control measures. Experts have prepared themselves and equipped facilities with the required safety measures and surgeons, gynecologists and other specialists never hesitate to treat a needy patient with any infectious disease including COVID-19.

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