Saturday, October 3, 2020

How long does it take to recover from coronavirus?

Doctors, researchers, and scientists are constantly discovering new things about COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2. However, it is safe to say that we know much about the virus now than back in April 2020. 

 

So, how long does it take to recover from coronavirus? Here’s a quick overview based on current information. 


When a patient is asymptomatic

A lot of patients do not have any symptoms of COVID-19, and hence called asymptomatic. However, a study has indicated that there is no difference in the viral load of these patients as compared to symptomatic patients. 

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, and have no symptoms, you are required to self-isolate at home for 14 days, following which you can get second test done, which is likely to be negative. 

How long does it take to recover from coronavirus if you are asymptomatic? 14 days for most patients.


When a patient is symptomatic


Fever, cough, dry cough, sore throat, headache, and fatigue are some of the common symptoms that symptomatic patients usually have. Loss of smell and taste are reportedly other symptoms, while some do have issues like breathlessness.

Note that recovery from the virus can be slow for some people. Typically, most patients do feel better in about two weeks, while in serious cases, the recovery time from COVID-19 can be as high as 6 weeks.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), most patients with symptoms do recover from the disease in 14 on an average.

However, to ensure that the patient is contagious to others or doesn’t spread the virus further, a further isolation period of 7-14 days is usually recommended.

When a patient has both coronavirus and pneumonia

Pneumonia has been seen as a serious symptom and development in many cases of COVID-19. Patients typically need breathing support and ventilators. In some cases, patients may take more than a few weeks to recover, depending on their immunity. 

The good news is only 5% of all Covid-19 patients are expected to need ICUs and ventilators. To answer the question - how long does it take to recover from coronavirus and pneumonia – It depends on the patient’s case history and immunity. 

Patients with co-morbidities like diabetes, kidney, lung and liver diseases may need several weeks before they can recover from all the symptoms, even after they test negative for Covid-19.

Recovering from Covid? Here’s what Dr. Faheem Younus, MD, Chief of Infectious Diseases, UM UCH, recently shared on his Twitter account.

  1. Patients aren’t contagious after 14 days of onset of symptoms.
  2. Patients do not need PCR test after 14 days, and mild symptoms may persist for many weeks.
  3. Reinfection is unlikely and rare


Almost 90% of all Covid-19 patients will recover at home and wouldn’t need hospitalization unless the symptoms worsen.

Going to a hospital is recommended for patients over the age of 65, those with co-morbidities, and severe symptoms.

Sources
  1. https://www.webmd.com/lung/covid-recovery-overview#1
  2. https://www.bbc.com/news/health-52301633
  3. https://www.indiatoday.in/coronavirus-outbreak/story/understanding-coronavirus-how-long-does-it-take-to-recover-from-covid-19-1669038-2020-04-20
  4. https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-04-recover-coronavirus.html
  5. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2769235
  6. https://www.advisory.com/daily-briefing/2020/08/10/asymptomatic