Local nurse practitioner talks long term effects of COVID-19

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — COVID-19 is a disease that primarily affects the lungs, but it can also damage other organs. Organ damage may increase the risk of long-term health problems. Nurse Practitioner Lisa Walker said around 40 percent of people are seeing problems with their heart after having COIVD-19.

“After they have recovered from COVID, they are having some type of cardiac inflammation still. Based on lab work, different labs that we can tests for that,” Walker said.

If you do not have a history of heart problems, there are some signs to look out for if you had COVID-19.

“Just that you can’t do your activities of daily living that you use to. You’re getting short of breath just walking through your house,” Walker said. “Something that didn’t cause you to have symptoms before, now you’re having symptoms. Your feet are swelling you have to sit up to breath.”

And heart problems are not the only potential long term effects. Some people are also seeing long term problems in their lungs and kidneys.

“If you have that persistent shortness of breath, if you’re having a persistent cough,” Walker said. “Now I will say cough I have seen and there is research that is suggesting that cough can last a while after COVID.”

Walker said swollen feet and shortness of breath can also be signs of kidney problems. She also said not everyone who fought COVID-19 will experience long term effects, but if you are experiencing any of these symptoms you should contact your doctor as soon as possible.

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