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Specific sequelae of COVID-19

Specific sequelae of COVID-19

The majority of patients seen in general practice with post–COVID-19 conditions will have had mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 infections. Post-acute COVID-19 symptoms might still occur after mild infection. When assessing any patient, it is important to have an awareness of the known significant sequelae.


Box 1. Significant COVID-19-specific sequelae2,3,9,12–14

  • Persisting interstitial lung disease
  • Impaired lung function
  • Pneumonia/lung cavitation
  • Dyspnoea
  • Complications of intubation/ventilation, including chronic cough, hoarse voice
  • Deterioration of diabetic control
  • Osteoporosis due to prolonged immobilisation
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis without known diabetes mellitus
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Myocarditis
  • Pericarditis
  • Arrhythmia
  • Heart failure
  • Venous thromboembolism (VTE)
Mental health:
  • Worsening of cognitive decline
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder following severe illness
  • Insomnia/sleep disturbances
  • Stroke
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Encephalopathy
  • Epilepsy
  • Myelitis
  • Critical care neuropathy/myopathy
  • Chronic malaise
  • Loss of taste and smell
  • Paraesthesia
  • Cognitive blunting (brain fog)
Post-intensive care syndrome:
  • Dyspnoea
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Prolonged pain
  • Reduced physical function
  • Hypercoagulable state
  • Anaemia
  • VTE
  • Diffuse myalgia
  • Joint pain
  • Post-viral syndrome similar to chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome temporally associated with SARS-CoV-2
  • Hair loss
  • Skin rash
  • Cardiac/respiratory/musculoskeletal deconditioning
  • Reduced nutritional status and weight loss
  • Low-grade fevers
  • Renal impairment/acute kidney injury
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances
  • Liver dysfunction
  • Pressure sores
  • Reduced quality of life
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