It took years for many of those first infected with Hepatitis-C, to learn that it was destroying their livers. It took years for those with HIV to learn their immune systems were being destroyed.

Is it possible to learn whether ongoing damage to kidneys, T-lymphocytes or other vital organs are occurring in Covid-19 survivors? Are there ways to determine if the virus is still silently destroying critical cells?

Note that I am not asking "Is there ongoing damage?" but only "How would one even look for it?"

Below are findings from (and links for) initial studies on the long term effects of Covid-19.

  • Almost half of all patients with COVID-19 have evidence of blood or protein in the urine, indicating early kidney damage.

  • Physicians in China recently discovered COVID-19 can damage the Central Nervous System.

  • COVID-19 is reportedly causing diarrhea, vomiting, and other gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms in approximately half of all patients.

  • A study from researchers at Fudan University in Shanghai found that COVID-19 can damage T lymphocytes similar to that caused by HIV.

  • Scientists do not know yet whether the COVID-19 virus may lie dormant in the body for years and spring back later in different form.

  • In SARS, also a corona virus, about one-third of recovered patients had lung impairment after three years.

  • Some patients develop heart failure and/or arrhythmias during the disease’s acute phase and former COVID-19 patients can become lifelong cardiology patients.

  • Physicians are reporting abnormal blood coagulation (blood clots) in patients with COVID-19.

  • In severe cases the virus may enter the brain through the olfactory nerve in the nasal cavity and damage neurons that control breathing.

Damage found in multiple organ systems

lasting damage throughout body, doctors fear

More Bad News on the Long-Term Effects

Neurological Implications of COVID-19 Raise Concerns


1 Answer 1


Although the novel coronavirus has not yet been around long enough to determine long-term effects, the experience from prior SARS coronavirus pandemics may be instructive, including observations of mental health side effects like anxiety disorders.

The American Lung Association has noted of the 2003 SARS virus:

A small percentage of patients had long-term effects from their illness, including depression or anxiety, cough, shortness of breath, chronic lung disease or kidney disease. However, most patients fully recovered. Source: ALA

  • Why would they have depression or anxiety as a long-term effect? I can understand the other long-term effect, it's due the cell damages and related complications, but I don't understand the psychological ones. May 10, 2020 at 16:44
  • Post-SARS, as a similar example, showed over 50% prevalence of mental illness in long term follow-up. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19555791
    – Henry Wei
    May 10, 2020 at 16:49

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