COVID-19: What to Expect When You’re Recovering

Here’s what Ken Lyn-Kew, MD, a pulmonologist and critical care doctor sees as patients recover from COVID-19.


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Dr. Ken Lyn-Kew: For mild carriage or mild disease it's I feel bad for a week, I feel bad for two weeks and then I get better. It looks just like any other viral syndrome. For moderate disease you're in the hospital for a few days, you need a little oxygen. You might have a little chest pain, a little exercise intolerance if you have a little inflammation on your heart, those people are going to recover fine too just like any other viral disease.

Dr. Ken Lyn-Kew: It's all the severe disease people we worry about. We know critical illness comes along with a host of problems that are difficult to recover from including memory issues, post-traumatic stress disorders, exercise intolerance, just to name a few. There's a whole list of things that people experience. One unique thing that people with this disease might experience is there are some reports of pulmonary fibrosis afterwards so scarring in 20 to 30% of the patients who require ventilation. We know that in regular ARDS, the lung disease, by six months the lungs have recovered. So it might just be too soon to tell but there is a possibility that this disease can cause more injury to the lung and more residual fibrosis than other forms of ARDS.

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