This Is How Long It Really Takes for You to Recover From Coronavirus

Doctors say even mild COVID-19 cases take a while to bounce back due to one long-lasting symptom.

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The fear of contracting coronavirus is one we can all relate to. Not only is COVID-19 highly contagious, but it also has a slew of uncomfortable side effects, including fever, cough, and nausea, among other common symptoms. And if you do get it, you may be thinking that at least you can ride it out in quarantine for a week or two. But you couldn't be more wrong. Doctors say that the road to recovery is long, and it could take two to three months to feel better.

This isn't surprising to Stephen Cleves, MD, an internal medicine specialist at TriHealth in Cincinnati, who has witnessed the aftermath of coronavirus in his patients. Even if you don't require medical care, Cleves says it's going to be a while before you bounce back. "It's really like a very, very severe what we would call bilateral (both lungs) pneumonia," he told Local12 news. "[It takes] two to three months sometimes before you feel normal—and the bad COVID cases are following that same pattern."

People who do need to go to an emergency room have a harder uphill battle. When they're released from the hospital, they might have to use an oxygen machine at home for many more weeks. For these individuals, it could take 12 to 18 months to recover after being in an intensive care unit, Alison Pittard, MD, dean of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine in the U.K., told the BBC.

a man recovers from coronavirus in bed
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Of course, everything depends on your personal health and the severity of your coronavirus case. However, doctors have seen a trend in several patients recovering from COVID-19: They all struggle with long-lasting fatigue.

"It was just a loss of all energy and drive," Mark Backlund, 73, told The New York Times about his encounter with coronavirus. "There was no horizontal surface in my house that I didn't want to just lay down on all day long."

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Though the coronavirus is less deadly for young adults, they are still prone to some scary bouts of sickness as well. Jared Miller, 27, told The New York Times: "It felt like I was in a U.F.C. match and beaten up. Doing anything other than laying in bed and sleeping was difficult. You had to be in the right position in order for your chest to not hurt. Or you had to be in a certain position in order to be able to take a full, comfortable breath."

If you do get sick, there are some ways to help boost your strength. For one quick tip from medical experts, check out This One Daily Activity Can Help You Recover from Coronavirus.

Best Life is constantly monitoring the latest news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed. Here are the answers to your most burning questions, the ways you can stay safe and healthy, the facts you need to know, the risks you should avoid, the myths you need to ignore,and the symptoms to be aware of. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.
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