SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — “With some of the variants, we’ve seen it’s been impacting younger adults, said South Dakota’s State Epidemiologist, Josh Clayton.
As Clayton tracks a rise in COVID-19 variants, next door in Minnesota, specialists at the Mayo Clinic are watching something else that is impacting younger people. It’s called Post-Covid Syndrome.
Research is showing that even people who have mild symptoms to COVID-19 can still suffer serious complications after the virus has left the body.
“The body is in a hyperimmune and hyperinflammatory state after the COVID-19 infection and it gets sort of stuck there, it’s almost like the body is trying to fight an infection that is no longer there,” said Dr. Greg Vanichkachorn.
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Vanichkachorn heads Mayo Clinic’s new COVID Activity Rehabilitation Program. He says COVID-19 can cause severe fatigue and an increased risk of damage to the heart, lungs, and brain. And many of those symptoms are showing up after mild cases.
“While it may seem like the younger population is impervious, mild illness is all you can get, we expect this is going to happen in 10 to 30 percent of the population that gets COVID-19 including our younger patients,” said Vanichkachorn.
When it comes to Post-Covid Syndrome there are a lot of questions that need to be answered.
“Are patients going to have more likelihood of getting Alzheimer’s disease or will they have heart problems going forward? The scary answer is right now is we just don’t know,” said Vanichkachorn.
He believes the best way for young and old to protect themselves from Post-Covid Syndrome is through vaccination.
“It’s important to remember that Covid is not just a cold, and it is not just influenza, but there can be problems that will affect your life forever, and getting a simple shot or two is worth it if it can make sure your life doesn’t go down the wrong path,” said Vanichkachorn.