How long does it take to recover from COVID-19?
The recovery time depends on how sick one gets. Self-isolation or voluntary isolation for 14 days at home is suggested for those who have mild COVID-19 symptoms. Read to know more
COVID-19 cases and deaths are rising each day. However, the good news is that many people have also managed to survive this deadly disease. Also Read – COVID-19: Government issues guidelines for public places
Despite imposing the 21-day country-wide lockdown to curb the spreading COVID-19 infection, the number of confirmed cases in India has jumped to 10,363. As many as 339 people have lost their lives to this condition, according to data on the Union Health Ministry website. Yet, there are also more than 1000 people who have been cured and discharged. Their recovery stories are giving some hope amidst this uncertain time. But COVID recovery is a lot more complicated than most people realize. It is a very slow process, and there can be a period of uncertainty even after you test negative. In this article, we will discuss about the recovery time for this disease and what a recovered person can do and not. Read to know more – Also Read – COVID-19: When And how can you meet family and friends?
Coronavirus Recovery Time
The recovery time depends on how sick one gets. According to the available evidence, the median time from onset to clinical recovery for mild cases is approximately 2 weeks. For severe or critical cases, recovery may take 3-6 weeks. About 1% of infected people worldwide die from the disease. Also Read – Toilet flushing can spread COVID-19 faster in air: Know the right etiquette of using washrooms
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and a dry cough. Some patients may also experience aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Those who become seriously ill may develop difficulty breathing. According to WHO, around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. In such case, a patient needs to be admitted to a hospital.
But most people (about 80%) with mild COVID symptoms recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Self-isolation or voluntary isolation for 14 days at home is suggested for those who have mild symptoms of the disease.
How Are The Most Serious COVID-19 Cases Treated?
More than half of the patients admitted to the hospital require assistance with oxygen, usually in a standard hospital ward. Some patients may experience worsening breathing difficulties, requiring admission to an intensive care unit (ICU).
In the ICU, they are given various treatments to support breathing such as high-flow humidified oxygen, delivered via a nasal mask. The patient will be intubated if breathing worsens further. In this case, a tube will be inserted through the mouth and into the windpipe, and then oxygen is delivered via a ventilator. Intubated patients will be sedated until their lungs recover enough to work without assistance.
In the most severe cases, a person may experience lungs failure. This condition will require extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, which is outsourcing the work normally done by the heart and lungs to an external machine. This is the most advanced form of life support, but there are many risks associated with it. Plus, recovery takes quite a long time.
When Can People With COVID-19 Stop Isolating Themselves?
The common guideline is 14 days past initial symptoms, plus 72 hours of no symptoms. The patients also need to get negative results on two tests, with samples collected at least 24 hours apart. After self-isolation, recovered patients who are returning to public spaces should still follow the precautionary measures, such as avoiding groups and washing hands.
How Long People May Stay Contagious After They’ve Recovered?
There is still no enough data to tell how long a person with COVID-19 is infectious. One meta-study found RNA from the virus in stool samples even after the patients had tested negative. But the researchers are not clear if these were only RNA fragments or active virus particles that could infect someone. In case of other infections, experts say normally infectiousness drops when the fever subsides.
Will Recovered Patients Be Immune To Reinfection?
As the full immune response, including duration of immunity, is not yet fully understood, there’s some uncertainty, says CDC.
Based on immunity to SARS and MERS, and seasonal coronaviruses, experts are assuming that most, and maybe nearly all, people who have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 will have immunity for a year or more.