Nga, 24 years old, in Thanh Xuan district, Hanoi, nearly two months after recovering from Covid-19, is still tired, often chills, cold all over her body despite being warm.
She contracted Covid-19 from December last year, had two vaccines, treated at home for mild symptoms. After recovering from the disease, Nga often suffers from shortness of breath, throbbing pain in her chest, the frequency of “remembering, forgetting” is thicker. When uncomfortable, she stops for 5-10 minutes to practice breathing. Nga often feels chills, cold hands and feet, wearing socks and warm clothes still doesn’t get better.
“Feeling after Covid-19 my body is weaker, I learned the lesson that ‘don’t think that without symptoms, there are no sequelae’,” Nga said. Currently, she is worried that the “cold cold from the inside” condition lasts too long and affects her health later, intending to go to the hospital to treat the sequelae completely.
Trinh, 29 years old, from Bien Hoa, Dong Nai, sometimes feels chills despite the hot weather in the South. She recovered from Covid for more than a month and a half, her body suddenly shivered, got goosebumps for a few tens of seconds and then it went away. Trinh is worried and insecure, not knowing “if I have to be re-infected”.
Doctor Nguyen Huy Hoang, Viet Nga Hyperbaric Oxygen Center – Viet Nga Tropical Center (Hanoi), said that he has consulted many patients with symptoms of chills, cold, and hypothermia after Covid-19. Their cold tolerance is worse, having to cover several blankets at the same time or use other methods to keep warm still feel cold, different from before.
“This is one of the body disorders after recovering from Covid-19, patients feel cold, get goosebumps even though the outside temperature doesn’t change,” said Dr. Hoang.
Doctor Kieu Xuan Thy, Ho Chi Minh City University of Medicine and Pharmacy Hospital, Campus 3, also met many similar patients. For example, a patient in his 40s always wears thick clothes and wears a scarf around his neck because he feels too cold, even though the weather in Ho Chi Minh City is over 35 degrees hot. She often feels chills, shivers, has to stay in the room, not using a fan or air conditioner and close the door to avoid the wind.
Usually, unpleasant symptoms such as fever, fear of cold, dizziness, fatigue… can last from 6 weeks to several months after infection, according to Dr. Thy. In particular, the feeling of fever and chills often makes patients worry and suspect the risk of reinfection.
According to research by the global medical network Survivor Corps, symptoms of fear of cold or feeling of fever are classified as general disorders of the body. Of the 5,107 participants in this study, a feeling of fever or fear of cold manifested in 441 of them. These are functional symptoms and do not usually reflect acute inflammation of the body.
Explaining this situation, Dr. Hoang said that the first cause was due to micro-thrombosis causing blockage in small capillaries, causing poor blood circulation. In addition, the patient may experience a neurological disorder after Covid-19 caused by stress, leading to blood vessel spasm.
“This condition causes the body’s thermoregulatory mechanism to be disturbed, unable to adjust the temperature according to the body’s needs with the outside environment,” the doctor said. This condition is not too dangerous, causes few complications to health, but can affect psychology, living and working habits. In some cases, if you do not keep warm well, you will easily catch cold, leading to respiratory diseases.
Doctors recommend that after recovering from Covid, you should combine nutrition and exercise to recover quickly. Patients can eat warm foods, use blood-active drugs… to increase body temperature. Increase exercise, nutrition to relieve stress.
Dr. Hoang warned that some symptoms are mistaken for Covid-19 sequelae by many people. However, when I went to the hospital, I found that it was a symptom of another disease such as malaria, infectious fever. Therefore, after recovering from Covid, you should pay attention to abnormal symptoms compared to before infection, go to the hospital for examination and treatment promptly. People with severe Covid-19 should go back to the doctor for 1-2 weeks after recovering; People with mild Covid-19 and no symptoms should go back for a check-up after 3-4 weeks of recovery.
In recent years, many hospitals have set up post-Covid clinics and departments to meet the needs of a large number of people with sequelae.
*Character name changed
Thuy An – Le Cam