COVID-19: Expert Answers All The Frequently Asked Questions On Post COVID Care

COVID-19: Expert Answers All The Frequently Asked Questions On Post COVID Care

Dr Prashant Saxena, Associate Director and Head, Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine; Associate Director, Critical Care, Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital answers all the common questions regarding Post COVID-19 management
Black Fungus is something that is already in the environment like other microorganisms and it is living among us, explains Dr Prashant SaxenaBlack Fungus is something that is already in the environment like other microorganisms and it is living among us, explains Dr Prashant Saxena
Highlights
  • The COVID recovery depends on the type of case: Dr Prashant Saxena
  • Black Fungus does not affect healthy people: Dr Prashant Saxena
  • Pregnant and Lactating women should get COVID vaccine: Dr Prashant Saxena

New Delhi: At a time when India’s dealing with the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, there are various questions on post COVID care in people’s minds. From what should one do, eat to how much time can it take to recover completely, to even how long should a recovered COVID-19 patient wait to get the vaccine after recovery. Banega Swasth India team speaks to Dr Prashant Saxena, Associate Director, and Head, Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine; Associate Director, Critical Care, Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital to get the answers to all these frequently asked questions on Post COVID-19 management.

NDTV: What helps in post COVID recovery?

Dr Prashant Saxena: We are asked this question a lot. There are different types of COVID cases – mild, moderate and severe and the recovery depends on the type of case. Mild cases are usually recovered in 2-4 weeks, which means you will be able to return to normalcy in this period of time. Within this span, you may experience weakness, laziness, not being able to work properly, pain in body parts, and a general feeling of not feeling well.

But in severe cases, the recovery time may be 2-3 months. This is because patients have recovered from a very stressful disease, and the medicines used to treat them is of a very high level. And they can have side effects from steroids so they have to be monitored on their pulmonary function. Some patients may have a fever and other issues. So, usually, severe patients may take upto 3 months for complete recovery.

Also Read: Opinion: At War With The Ecology- The COVID-19 Pandemic Is The Biggest Environmental Crisis Precipitated By Humans

NDTV: Sometimes, people experience fever even after recovery. There have also been instances where the patient has UTI, how can the family help in such situations?

Dr Prashant Saxena: Once the first wave of COVID was over, we came to know that even after COVID is over and there is no infection, you may still have a fever. Some patients may have a mild fever like 99 for up to 6 weeks. This is known as Post COVID Syndrome or Long COVID. One should not neglect this, please inform your doctor for any fever after recovery. Because for those patients who have been on steroids, or had diabetes, or any heart problems, their doctor needs to investigate them to be sure if they have developed any complications.

It is very common for patients who have been on steroids or had diabetes to catch Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).

NDTV: For how many days after recovering from COVID-19, can a patient catch Black Fungus?

Dr Prashant Saxena: Black Fungus is not related to the time span after COVID recovery. Black Fungus is something that is already in the environment like other microorganisms and it is living among us. But in patients who have diabetes, who are on high-dose steroids, who have cancer, who are on chemotherapy, kidney patients, cardiac patients; have a tendency, where the organisms can find access to their bodies, and may actually manifest as disease. We need to be careful about these sets of population and they need to be screened. Not everyone will catch such fungal infections.

NDTV: What are the initial symptoms of Black Fungus? What is the difference between Black, White and Yellow Fungus? What is the habitat of these fungi and how can we kill them in a general way?

Dr Prashant Saxena: As I said, these fungi survive with us, they are on desktops, walls, in any place where there is moisture. To remove it, we need to maintain very good hygiene, keeping our surroundings clean, having a clean AC, cleaning dust, throwing garbage properly. It is ultimately about hygiene.

Fungus has many colours and they are named based on their colours in which they grow. All fungal diseases are dangerous to humans, they are difficult to treat, to diagnose and the drugs used in the treatment are very expensive and taken for long-term.

A lot of COVID patients who suffered from Black Fungus were because they were on high dose steroids, or uncontrolled diabetic, and many became diabetic because they were on steroids. Steroids are life-saving, but if not used wisely, this happens. If the fungus gets glucose, like with diabetic patients, it will thrive; if it gets a chronic kidney patient, it will thrive. So these are the high-risk groups, who may develop it. Normal healthy people who get COVID and recover have no risk factors to develop Black Fungus.

NDTV: I got COVID after taking first shot, who how long do I need to wait for the second shot?

Dr Prashant Saxena: As per CDC and WHO, if you contract COVID after the first dose, you should ideally wait for 3 months before getting the second jab. I would suggest people to get their antibody level tested at the end of three months. If your antibody level is very good, then you can wait more, because the additional dose may not help at the time.

NDTV: What is the good level of antibody?

Dr Prashant Saxena: Antibody reference is different for different levels, but the rough idea is to have 3-4 times of higher limit of normal is considered as a good response. Antibodies take 2-4 weeks to develop after the vaccine.

NDTV: I delivered a baby 13 days ago, when I can take my vaccine’s first dose?

Dr Prashant Saxena: When vaccines were launched the recommendation was that pregnant women and lactating women shouldn’t take vaccines. Now the recommendation has changed, even pregnant women and lactating mothers can get vaccinated.

NDTV: How long should one take blood thinners after COVID-19 recovery?

Dr Prashant Saxena: In COVID, blood tends to become thick and clots. Important thing is to hydrate yourself, take all your prescribed medication. We start blood thinners from Day 1 because the disease can become severe or moderately severe. So, it is advised to start immediately and we continue this for 3-4 weeks after the recovery. One has to be careful with blood thinners because it has a bleeding tendency.

Also Read: New Study Reveals Global ‘Hot Spots’ Where New Coronaviruses May Emerge

NDTV: How to be safe from COVID and what is the recommended diet during the pandemic?

Dr Prashant Saxena: No matter what disease it is, a very good diet has a good role to play. Antioxidants can benefit greatly. I am a believer in nutrition and I believe our community is deprived of nutrition. We need to restrict on carbohydrates and fat and focus on high protein. There are many supplements available that can be taken. Please do not take protein powders randomly, this can lead to blood clots, kidney issues, digestive issues, etc. You need to consult with your doctor about the protein powders first.

NDTV: After recovering from COVID six months ago, I can’t taste things as it used to be. Is that normal?

Dr Prashant Saxena: Losing taste and smell happens to only 3-5 per cent of people. It is a rare symptom, it may take up to 6-8 weeks for the taste or smell to come back. This takes time. It is very unusual to get it in 6 months, one should consult their doctor in such a scenario.

NDTV: What is ‘Antibody Dependence Enhancement’?

Dr Prashant Saxena: There is a lot of research on this going on. When you take a vaccine and antibodies are produced, sometimes, these antibodies can harm you instead of benefitting you. This is called antibody dependence enhancement. This phenomenon is responsible for why we don’t have vaccines for dengue. Because the antibody was harming more than it was benefitting. This phenomenon hasn’t been seen in a lot of the population and is being investigated. We don’t want this to happen and it hasn’t happened in the case of COVID vaccines as yet.

NDTV: Can vaccine prevent Black Fungus as well?

Dr Prashant Saxena: Vaccines can help protect you from COVID infection. Before COVID, Black Fungus used to happen with patients who’re uncontrolled diabetic, or had kidney issues, or have cancer. It wasn’t a concern among the healthy patients.

NDTV: Are steroids essential for every COVID patient?

Dr Prashant Saxena: The last wave, I didn’t use steroids at all. This wave, research has come up that steroids are useful for patients who have low oxygen, patients who have moderate to severe infection and are on oxygen support. Steroids are recommended to only these sets of patients. However, all the mild patients also started taking steroids because of the fear. So this over-usage is not required, there are only limited cases that need steroids. 80 per cent of patients don’t require steroids for treatment.

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

17,66,30,634Cases
5,80,25,717Active
11,47,82,895Recovered
38,22,022Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 193 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 17,66,30,634 and 38,22,022 have died; 5,80,25,717 are active cases and 11,47,82,895 have recovered as on June 16, 2021 at 3:30 am.

India

2,96,33,105 62,224Cases
8,65,43247,946Active
2,83,88,100 1,07,628Recovered
3,79,573 2,542Deaths
In India, there are 2,96,33,105 confirmed cases including 3,79,573 deaths. The number of active cases is 8,65,432 and 2,83,88,100 have recovered as on June 16, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

59,24,773 7,652

1,41,440 8,982

56,69,179 15,176

1,14,154 1,458

Karnataka

27,77,010 5,041

1,62,303 9,859

25,81,559 14,785

33,148 115

Kerala

27,48,204 12,246

1,12,792 1,456

26,23,904 13,536

11,508 166

Tamil Nadu

23,78,298 11,805

1,25,215 11,669

22,23,015 23,207

30,068 267

Andhra Pradesh

18,20,134 5,741

75,134 4,879

17,32,948 10,567

12,052 53

Uttar Pradesh

17,03,207 270

7,221 890

16,74,072 1,104

21,914 56

West Bengal

14,68,044 3,268

20,046 1,125

14,30,949 2,068

17,049 75

Delhi

14,31,498 228

3,078 148

14,03,569 364

24,851 12

Chhattisgarh

9,88,172 609

11,717 943

9,63,113 1,544

13,342 8

Rajasthan

9,50,133 172

5,619 848

9,35,658 1,006

8,856 14

Odisha

8,59,526 3,405

44,358 3,436

8,11,780 6,799

3,388 42

Gujarat

8,21,078 352

8,884 658

8,02,187 1,006

10,007 4

Madhya Pradesh

7,88,649 224

3,610 331

7,76,424 528

8,615 27

Haryana

7,66,357 228

3,703 374

7,53,584 564

9,070 38

Bihar

7,17,949 410

4,360 412

7,04,075 813

9,514 9

Telangana

6,06,436 1,556

19,933 528

5,82,993 2,070

3,510 14

Punjab

5,89,153 628

10,802 1,111

5,62,701 1,691

15,650 48

Assam

4,66,590 3,415

41,184 475

4,21,378 2,906

4,028 34

Jharkhand

3,43,793 184

2,646 416

3,36,058 596

5,089 4

Uttarakhand

3,37,449 274

3,642 266

3,26,822 515

6,985 25

Jammu And Kashmir

3,08,726 715

12,407 1,125

2,92,114 1,830

4,205 10

Himachal Pradesh

1,99,197 321

4,050 382

1,91,737 691

3,410 12

Goa

1,63,048 327

4,175 231

1,55,926 548

2,947 10

Puducherry

1,13,192 355

4,668 279

1,06,828 629

1,696 5

Chandigarh

61,200 40

486 21

59,917 58

797 3

Manipur

61,096 785

8,744 301

51,354 476

998 8

Tripura

60,385 536

4,886 65

54,870 596

629 5

Meghalaya

42,759 450

4,430 99

37,579 542

750 7

Arunachal Pradesh

31,938 290

2,849 40

28,934 326

155 4

Nagaland

23,854 101

2,972 229

20,423 327

459 3

Ladakh

19,649 38

552 20

18,898 57

199 1

Sikkim

18,659 209

3,239 67

15,136 273

284 3

Mizoram

15,899 268

3,637 45

12,191 312

71 1

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,473 9

61 2

10,408 7

4

Lakshadweep

9,297 61

484 36

8,768 96

45 1

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,280 11

105 4

7,049 15

126

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