What We Know About COVID-19 Incubation Period, Immunity Evidence, and Damage After Recovery
Updated: Aug 3, 2021
Over the past year, the world has battled COVID-19. Families and friends stayed at home to stop the spread and keep transmission rates low, while in the lab, scientists tried to learn as much as they could about this novel coronavirus.
So what did they learn? And what do we currently know about COVID-19?
Dr. Peramsetty discusses what we’ve learned about COVID-19’s incubation period and how long to wait for testing, immunity evidence (or lack of thereof), and the damage it causes after recovery.
Dr. Peramsetty on What We Know About COVID-19
COVID-19 Incubation Period
Not sure what an “incubation period” is? It simply means the time between exposure to the virus and symptom onset. According to scientists and health experts, the incubation period for COVID-19 is thought to be two to 14 days. However, most people infected with the virus find their symptoms typically appear within four or five days after exposure.
Additionally, experts have discovered that people infected with COVID-19 are contagious for 48 hours before actually showing symptoms. Emerging research suggests this is most likely when the virus spreads to others, as they are “pre-symptomatic” (or asymptomatic) and aren’t aware they have become infected.
COVID-19 Immunity Evidence
In addition to learning about the coronavirus’s incubation period, we’ve also learned quite a bit about COVID-19 immunity and whether or not people are protected after having the virus.
Most recently, a study published in February in the journal Science found that immunity can last for as long as 8 months. However, the average immunity among 95% of test subjects was around ~6 months.
So what does this mean?
Well, until we properly vaccinate the majority of the population to reach herd immunity, protective measures like social distancing, wearing masks, and avoiding crowds still need to be followed to stop the spread and keep COVID-19 case rates low.
Long-Term Effects of COVID-19
If there’s one aspect of COVID-19 that people aren't talking about enough, it’s the bodily damage and long-term effects following recovery of the infection.
While many believe only older people or those with underlying health conditions are affected by COVID-19, many cases have occured where otherwise healthy teenagers and young adults have been infected with COVID-19 and now suffer from debilitating long-term effects.
For instance, Carsen, a healthy 17-year-old, tested positive with COVID-19 in July of 2020 and after “recovering” from the virus, has since been diagnosed with long-term effects from COVID, including chronic fatigue, insomnia, night sweats, and -- even more surprising -- myocarditis, which is an inflammation of the heart muscle.
However, Carsen isn’t alone in his fight against long-term COVID effects. Many people -- both young and old -- have been experiencing post-COVID-19 symptoms that impact their everyday lives.
The most commonly reported long-term signs and symptoms include:
Shortness of breath
Other long-term signs and symptoms may include:
Muscle pain or headache
Fast or pounding heartbeat
Loss of smell or taste
Memory, concentration, or sleep problems
Rash or hair loss
Furthermore, COVID-19 can also cause organ damage, which can increase the risk of long-term health problems. COVID-19 can damage organs such as the heart, lungs, and brain. For more information on this, take a look at this page on the Mayo Clinic site.
COVID-19 Treatment and Care at Crimson Care in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
At Crimson Care, Dr. Peramsetty and his experienced team offer drive-up testing, rapid testing, professional help for treating COVID-19 symptoms, and monoclonal antibody treatments.
However, we are open to all your medical issues in Tuscaloosa, not just COVID-19! If you need medical help treating an illness, accident, or another health problem, don’t hesitate to contact our team today.