The coronavirus is said to be mild in four out of five cases, with the vast majority of patients making a full recovery.
Nevertheless, it is increasingly coming to light that a minority of patients develop lingering complications after the infection has been cleared from their body, with some scientists arguing post-COVID syndrome should be considered a condition in its own right.
Post-viral fatigue can theoretically occur after fighting off any virus, while reduced muscle mass is common following a stint in intensive care.
Pneumonia also leads to inflammation and scarring of lung tissue, which may leave patients short of breath or even with lasting damage.
Recent studies have also linked the coronavirus to everything from hearing loss to temporary brain damage.
Experts have stressed, however, it “remains to be seen” whether the ongoing outbreak leads to the same lasting complications as the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.