The symptoms range from a simple headache to temporary loss of male fertility, Guillain Barre Syndrome to nightmares, and facial palsy to short-term memory loss and bone damage, they said.
Covid-19 is the first disease that has exhibited scores of symptoms that may last even after complete recovery and up to six months to a year.
Opportunistic infections like black fungus (mucormycosis) and pneumonia are just the tip of the pandemic iceberg, health experts point out.
Incidentally, Hyderabad was part of an international cohort study covering dozens of cities spread across 56 nations in which it was revealed that long Covid-19 patients suffer from symptoms that run up to 203. City doctors, supporting the international study published in a Lancet publication, relate the symptoms to brain, heart, lungs, reproductive organs, skin and kidneys. Some of the symptoms are psychological in nature and include apart from nightmares and vivid dreams, a sense of fear that someone is stalking, confusion and sleep disturbances.
Dr P Ranganadham, senior neurosurgeon, Sunshine Hospitals, Gachibowli, has listed about 40 symptoms related to just the nervous system.
“Evidence collected in the last 18 months show that all the six divisions of the central and peripheral nervous systems – brain, spinal cord, retina, nerves, ganglia and muscles – are hit by Covid-19 virus in varying severity,” Dr Ranganadham told TOI.
Some of the symptoms Dr Ranganadham has listed are loss of smell, decreased taste, Guillain Barre Syndrome, Miller Fischer syndrome, foot drop, muscle pains, cramps, fatigue, disinterest in work, paraesthesia (pins and needles sensation), numbness, facial palsy, visual loss, disturbances of eye mobility, encephalopathy (damage to brain), encephalitis (inflammation of brain), stroke, epilepsy, meningitis, myelitis (inflammation of spinal cord), ataxia (neuro problems), sleep disturbances, depression, daytime sleepiness, headache, memory loss, confusion and mental fuzziness.
Fertility expert Dr Roya Rozati of MHRT Hospital, told TOI that Covid-19 has been found to affect the fertility levels, particularly in men. “Young men are at a higher risk as they are in child-bearing age. The pandemic virus impacts their ability to reproduce,” Dr Roya said.
Senior physician Dr Luqman Ahmad Khan said he had come across over a dozen symptoms in patients whom he treated. “Long Covid-19 is variable in nature. I encountered the most common symptoms like extreme tiredness and unable to focus or concentration, apart from loss of smell and taste. Many symptoms are of psychological impact of Covid-19 distress,” he said.
Dr Chetan Rao Vaddepally, consultant pulmonologist, Yashoda Hospitals, has listed around 30 symptoms including multiorgan effects. “Covid-19 hits most, if not all, body systems including heart, lung, kidney, skin, and brain functions. Multiorgan effects can also include conditions that occur after Covid-19 like multisystem inflammatory syndrome and autoimmune conditions,” Dr Chetan Rao said.