Almost 13 million people around the world have so far tested positive for the coronavirus.
Most have recovered. But evidence is growing that even the survivors can suffer long-lasting after-effects. And it seems almost every major organ can suffer damage.
Not surprisingly the virus has a devastating impact on the lungs.
One in five or six people with COVID-19 are left with scarring – or fibrosis – of delicate tissue that leaves them breathless and coughing months later.
The damage is probably permanent and irreversible, and it’s not just those who needed a ventilator who are at risk.
But it’s not just the lungs that bear the brunt. The kidneys can be affected early in the disease.
A third of people in hospital with the virus develop moderate or severe damage to their kidneys, which are vital for cleaning the blood. Some need dialysis and may in the long-term need a transplant. The heart is also at risk.
A new study by doctors at Edinburgh University of more than 1,200 patients in 69 countries found that 55% of all patients showed heart abnormalities, with 15% suffering serious changes to the way their heart pumped blood.
Even the brain, normally shielded from viruses, is susceptible.
It seems around half those with COVID-19 have some neurological effects.
Symptoms can be mild – headaches, loss of smell and tingling sensations.
But they can be much worse – strokes, seizures and the inability to speak.