Cameroon – Being discharged from the hospital or tested negative for Covid-19 simply means that you are no more contagious, but not that you are perfectly fine. What ever the case there is life after recovery.
“After 14 days of treatment the patient undergoes another Covid-19 test to know his/her status, if the control test is negative, the patient will still have to observe at least another 14 days of isolation in a safe corner to avoid developing the symptoms again…, in total, most Covid-19 patients will need at least 28 days to fully recover” declared Dr. George Alain Etoundi Mballa, Director of Disease Control at the Ministry of Public Health.
“Long Covid” is a term that is new in Cameroon but it is used elswhere to describe the effects of Covid-19 that continue for weeks or months beyond the initial illness.
According to the National Health Service (NHS – UK), the symptoms of Long Covid include: extreme tiredness, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, chest pain or tightness, problems with memory and concentration, changes to taste and smell, joint pains among others.
WHO is reporting that for many people, the symptoms could continue to linger for, or recur weeks or months after the disease.
While patients who have recovered from COVID-19 may not be infectious to others, they may still develop medical complications that can have a lasting impact on their health.
The cause of Long Covid is still very difficult to established but one possibility is that the infection makes some people’s immune systems go into overdrive, attacking not just the virus but their own tissues. That can happen in people who have very strong immune responses.
Another theory is that fragments of the virus could remain in the body, possibly lying dormant and then becoming reactivated.
Responding to Long Covid
There is actually enough data to check on people who are at risk of contamination in Cameroon.
“Everyone should continue to respect the different measures put in place by the government of Cameroon in the Covid-19 response plan. Even those who have taken the vaccines should respect the measures and visit health service in case of mild or severe symptoms.” Says Public Health Minister, Dr. Manaouda Malachie.
The lasting effect of the disease on people has actually not been taken into consideration in the country, but the following measures can go a long way to walk people out of Covid-19 stress-free;
Exercise is restricted for weeks to months, especially for those who were admitted in intensive care units. This is to allow the muscles, lungs and other organs to recover properly from the damage caused by the Covid
The temperature of the recovered patient should be taken daily through out the period of 14 days after the control test and by a designated caregiver in the house respecting barrier measures as well.
Sometime the patients may need physical therapy to walk, raise arm, breathe, sit properly, speak and even eat, but this is possible only for those coming out from intensive care units.
They should also have access to natural air.
Just to note that in Cameroon as of August 1, 2021, out of the 82.064 confirmed cases of Covid-19, 80.433 had recovered with some recovering from the second time.