Recovering from severe COVID-19 can be a long and difficult process. According to Dr. Joshua Septimus, associate professor of clinical medicine and medical director of Houston Methodist Primary Care Group Same Day Clinics, most patients with more severe to critical illness are likely to remain infectious for no longer than 20 days after the onset of symptoms. Those with mild cases of the virus usually recover within a week or two, while those with severe cases may take six weeks or more to recover.
In some cases, there may be long-lasting symptoms with or without damage to the heart, kidneys, lungs, and brain. It is important to note that an infected person can transmit the virus up to two days before they experience symptoms, as well as for as long as they have them. The history of influenza pandemics goes back several hundred years, and in a year of normal influenza, about 1 in 1,000 people who get seasonal flu dies. The greatest burden of disease from seasonal influenza occurs among children younger than five years of age and in people older than 65 years of age.
It is important for individuals who have had severe COVID-19 to understand the potential risks associated with the virus and how long they may remain infectious. It is also important for individuals to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and others from the virus.