- Live Stories
- Young Minds
Health in Your Hands
Sudden weakness, fatigue and exhaustion pulling you down? It could be a symptom of COVID-19
In the second wave across India, doctors are reporting several cases where the coronavirus positive patients
As the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps India, it is also leaving patients, their relatives (or caregivers), and the medical authorities baffled with the wide range of symptoms being reported to be associated with the new strain.
In the second wave across India, doctors are reporting several cases where the coronavirus positive patients - irrespective of age - experienced extreme fatigue with a sudden drop in platelet count along wiith fever and breathlessness. A number of patients are reporting drier mucous membrane passages (caused because it is actually the virus that is acting up) and the unexplained feeling of weakness – even in young, very fit people who are given to heavy-duty sports or exercise in their daily life, which completely baffles all concerned.
So what should one do if fatigue nearly incapacitates you:
If you have a scratchy throat, and a fever, with this sweeping kind of fatigue or exhaustion, doctors say that in a pandemic, that should raise alarm bells right away. No, you must not panic, but treat this as a signal that you must now go isolate yourself so that you do not pass it to others in the family or society.
You should immediately consult a doctor in a COVID-19 clinic or online if none available in person. Follow his/her advice and watch for certain changes you may be asked to report.
Testing infrastructure has crumbled at the moment. Laboratories and technicians are finding it difficult to cope with the huge number of samples that are arriving for RT-PCR tests.
Isolation till you can be sure that you are not harbouring/fighting/carrying an infection is the wisest thing to do.
However, since you have already reported a feeling of weakness, you may require help or assurance of being watched, even if from afar, supply of medicine, foods, positivity infusing items like devices of entertainment, and also the logistical support, should you need to go to the hospital.
Watch out for other symptoms and parameters:
In most cases, the fever does come down and other problems like weakness and body ache start to reverse.
Look for other red flags to decide if the patient is okay to be kept at home and beat the fever with home isolation.
It helps the COVID-19-infected person if she/he tries to sleep prone, ie. lying on the stomach, instead of the back. That eases the pressure on the lungs and marginally also lifts the Oxygen levels.
With other parameters like pulse, blood pressure, O2-level etc being okay, one need not rush to the hospital unless advised by the doctor. Your treating doctor can tell from your symptoms whether you need hospitalisation or are better off staying at home.
Harvard Newsletter warns against neurological implications:
According to Harvard, people with COVID-19 can also experience neurological symptoms, gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms or both. These may occur with or without respiratory symptoms.
It also warns that COVID-19 affects brain function in some people. Specific neurological symptoms seen in people with COVID-19 include loss of smell, inability to taste, muscle weakness, tingling or numbness in the hands and feet, dizziness, confusion, delirium, seizures, and stroke.
Weakness can also be because of falling platelet count or a condition called Thrombocytopenia. According to the British Journal of Hematology, Thrombocytopenia is a risk factor for increased morbidity and mortality in patients infected with the new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, SARS‐CoV‐2 or COVID‐19 infection. Thrombocytopenia in COVID‐19 patients may be caused by disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), sepsis or be drug‐induced.
It is therefore important that you keep your doctor updated about all the symptoms and developments in your battle against suspected or diagnosed COVID-19 infection.