Not only with Covid: Consequences of infectious diseases

Many who are infected with corona are also concerned about months of complaints. There are scientifically proven cases in which patients complain about chest pain, loss of smell or exhaustion even after months.

But there are also long-term effects with other infectious diseases. As with Covid-19, it can sometimes take months for the body to regain its shape from before the infection.


Exhaustion, shortness of breath, joint and chest pain, cough or loss of smell are some of the symptoms that some Covid sufferers complain about weeks later. One thing is certain: the virus not only attacks the lungs, but also other organs and nerves. There have been reports of patients suffering from Guillain-Barre syndrome, an inflammatory nerve disease with muscle paralysis, long after infection.

Long-term consequences are observed even with a symptom-free infection – such as tiredness, memory problems or word finding disorders. In addition, after inflammatory processes, organs such as the lungs, kidneys or heart can be damaged by an excessive immune reaction.


The flu comes suddenly and usually brings with it a fever, sore throat, cough, muscle or headache and general weakness. While the disease usually lasts five to seven days, there are life-threatening courses up to and including death – mainly in older people and small children.

Other pathogens can enter the body through the damaged airways and cause, for example, lung, heart muscle or brain infections. Cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac weaknesses or circulatory shocks can occur. The only real protection from the medical point of view is the annual vaccination.

WET LEAVES (Chickenpox)

It is very dangerous when the typical childhood disease of wet leaves afflicts people with a weakened immune system, such as the chronically ill. After infection, it usually takes around two weeks before symptoms such as fever and itchy blisters appear. If the rash is scratched, other pathogens can enter the body and cause lung and brain infections.

As a rule, one is immune for life after the first illness. But the pathogens stay in the body. Even decades later, they can be reactivated and cause shingles, for example, in adults with decreased immunity. Unprotected people get infected very easily from a sick person with wet leaves. For this reason, a double vaccination is recommended as early as infancy.


After an infection with the highly contagious measles virus, the immune system is weakened for about six weeks. Other pathogens can penetrate the body and trigger otitis media, bronchitis and pneumonia. In most cases, measles heals without any problems.

In one in about 1,000 cases, however, it can lead to brain inflammation and damage to the nerves. This is partly fatal, partly the central nervous system remains damaged forever. The incurable encephalitis can set in years after the measles disease. A double vaccination is also recommended here.


The childhood disease also affects adults. Skin rash, fever and sore throat are acute consequences. In rare cases, the infection spreads in the body and causes diseases such as pneumonia or tonsillitis. Purulent otitis media can lead to hearing loss if scarlet fever is not treated.

Long-term effects such as rheumatic fever with inflammation of the knee joints, heart and kidneys are rare, but particularly dangerous. This can cause permanent damage. Complications are more common when scarlet fever is not properly treated. Antibiotics such as penicillin help against the infection. But you are not immune after an illness.