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Long Covid-19 symptoms that no one talks about; signs to be aware of. Read here

Complications related to COVID-19 infections can continue for several months after you recover from the disease. This is true even for patients who have suffered mild to moderate infections.

And although we tend to dismiss Omicron as a common cold or flu, doctors have warned against taking it lightly as it can lead to prolonged COVID.

What is long COVID?

Even after the initial recovery, some COVID patients may develop certain complications that may plague them for several months. Doctors describe these symptoms as long COVID.

What are the symptoms of prolonged COVID?

One of the most common symptoms of COVID-19 is loss of sense of smell and taste. "Loss of sense of smell affects about 70 percent of patients who had Covid," said Joaquim Mullol, who heads an odor clinic at Barcelona's Hospital Clinic, as quoted by AFP.

And a quarter of patients who have lost their odor due to Covid do not get it back for several months after the first recovery, he added. Such a long-term syndrome is known as parosmia. It is an odor disorder that distorts the sense of smell.

Apart from that, other symptoms include long COVD fatigue, persistent cough, shortness of breath, fog and anxiety.

Why can it affect one's quality of life?

Parosmia can affect one's life in serious ways in the long run. Imagine living with a state where you eat food but can not enjoy it because it no longer smells the same. Or maybe there is something burning at home but you are completely unaware of it as you can smell it.

"The nose allows us to smell what we eat, what we drink, to connect with the outside world," Mullol said.

"We discover things that can be dangerous, like gas, spoiled food. When we remove it, the person is cut off from the world."

What are the long-term effects of Omicron?

Experts say there is not enough data right now to suggest what kind of long-term impact Omicron may have on us, but it can not be taken lightly.

"We do not yet have data on how much of a infection with Omicron ... ends up with Long COVID," explained Akiko Iwasaki, who studies viral immunology at Yale University, as quoted by Reuters.

"People who underestimate Omicron as 'mild' put themselves at risk for a debilitating disease that can linger for months or years."

Is there any cure?

The loss of sense of smell due to COVID can be recovered through "smell training". It is a long and slow process that involves sniffing different smells over a period of months to retrain the brain to recognize different smells.

(With input from agencies)

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