Weakness, memory loss, tiredness, persistent cough. Science is still looking for answers about the harmful potential of Covid-19 in the human body. Effects that are not restricted to the period of detection of the disease, but that persist with the appearance of secondary symptoms, whose duration is still unknown by medicine. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Funfarme Rehabilitation Center has treated 294 patients with post-Covid symptoms. Of these, 164 are women, which corresponds to 55% of the public who perform physical, respiratory or cognitive physical therapy.
“Contrary to what is imagined, the evolution of Covid to other complaints, which do not represent the classic signs of the disease, is not related to hospitalization, nor to advanced age. Among women, the main age group assisted by the center is from 35 to 39 years old (25 patients). Among men, the prevalence of post-Covid symptoms is between 55 and 59 years old. Of the total public, very few needed hospitalization during the sars-cov-2 infection”, explains physiatrist Regina Chueire.
Nursing technician Ana Carolina Chederolli is only 33 years old and suffers from memory loss after being diagnosed with Covid-19 in March last year.
“I need to call someone and by the time I pick up the phone I forget who and what I was going to say. These days I spent more than an hour looking for my car in the supermarket parking lot. I bit my foot and couldn’t remember how it hurt,” she lists.
For Regina Chueire, the post-Covid symptoms are related to the period when there was no vaccine available or the patient was infected before completing the vaccination schedule.
“The first variants of Covid-19 were very aggressive. Even in cases where hospitalization was not necessary, people felt important symptoms of shortness of breath, sore throat and tiredness. And it is the public in this scenario that we are dealing with with subsequent complaints. With the expansion of immunization, the number of medical records decreased”, he says.
Research carried out by Fiocruz corroborates the doctor’s speech. The Foundation followed 646 patients who had Covid-19. Only five of them were vaccinated. Of these, half reported health problems that appeared months after the illness. In Rio Preto, the most recurrent symptoms among patients seen at the rehabilitation center are muscle wasting, memory loss and headaches.
Cashier Aira Cristina Mezadre, 51, is one of the patients seen at the physiotherapy unit. Infected by the coronavirus in April last year, she says that during the period of home isolation she felt fever and sore throat. But only after returning to work did she have weakness in her legs. “The firmness was decreasing. I had to go to work with a cane. After a while, I also lost strength in my arms. Until the day I fell in the market aisle, so I had to ask for leave”.
Today, the woman undergoes physical therapy once a week and hydrotherapy twice a week to regain strength in her limbs.
Social worker Anderson de Oliveira Caetano, 41, had Covid-19 in June. Overcoming the period of manifestation of the disease, he began to suffer with severe headaches.
“Post-Covid is being worse for me than when I tested positive. Last month I had a lot of cough and sore throat, but that was it. Now I face an unbearable headache and a lot of fatigue. Small distances cause me great fatigue,” he reports. Anderson did not take the booster dose against Covid-19. He will start follow-up at the Rehabilitation Center next month.
women are majority
For physiatrist Regina Chueire, the prevalence of women among patients treated with complaints after Covid-19 has a behavioral explanation. The female public, according to the expert, seeks more for health services. The rate of 55% of patients attended by the rehabilitation center is similar to the percentage of women assisted by Fiocruz with health complaints after infection with coronavirus, which was 53%.
However, scientists around the world suspect that women are more susceptible to long-term Covid and post-Covid syndrome. Among the many studies in progress, a Brazilian one, carried out by neuroscientist Lúcia Willadino Braga, at the Sarah Kubitschek Hospital, points out that the predominance of women among patients with sequelae of coronavirus infection is 73% among 614 people monitored in the Federal District. The study concluded that women were more affected by neuropsychological and neuropsychiatric problems. The most recurrent complaint was memory loss.
“Covid-19 is still a mystery to science. It attacks the circulatory system and has repercussions throughout the human body. It causes cardiac arrhythmia, for example. It’s a new scenario for us doctors. We are learning to deal with the disease in practice, fighting its effects in order to try to prevent them in the future”, adds Regina Chueire. (JT)
Possible sequelae of the disease
- Muscle weakness
- muscle wasting
- extreme fatigue
- Memory loss
- Psychiatric disorders (anxiety, depression, panic disorder)
- chronic cough
- cardiovascular problems
- taste change
- Change in swallowing
- loss of smell
- Loss of hair
- 294 patients were treated at Lucy Montoro in Rio Preto
- 164 women
- 130 men
- Age group with the most patients: 40 to 50 years old
Study by Fiocruz de Minas Gerais showed that half of patients with Covid had sequelae after one year of contamination
646 patients were followed up (329 with mild disease, 57 moderate and 260 severe)
324 patients had symptoms a year after contracting the virus
Main complaint was extreme tiredness and difficulty in performing routine activities
‘Contrary to what is imagined, the evolution of Covid to other complaints, which do not represent the classic signs of the disease, is not related to hospitalization, nor to advanced age’ Regina Chueire, doctor (Disclosure/Funfarme)