(CNN)The majority of Covid-19 patients will recover from the virus, but what does that recovery look like? CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta speaks with a patient about his experience in the weeks since leaving the hospital. Medical experts Maria Van Kerkhove and Dr. Reynold Panetierri weigh in on some of the potential long-term health consequences.
Road to Recovery: Dr. Sanjay Gupta's coronavirus podcast for June 10
You can listen on your favorite podcast app, or read the transcript below.
[5,000th Covid patient released from Bronx hospital]
Dr. Sanjay Gupta: That's the sound of celebration as another recovered Covid-19 patient is healthy enough to go home from the hospital.
All over the country, hospitals have developed their own rituals like this — New York's Westchester Hospital plays the Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun" every time a patient is discharged; Philadelphia's Nazareth Hospital plays the theme song from "Rocky."
It is deeply inspiring. But it's also important to point out that for some patients, this is only the beginning of what can be a long road to recovery.
I'm Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent. And this is "Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction."
Michael Herbert: A doctor who I had not seen before comes in and he said, "Hi, my name is Dr. Ling, I need to do a rather aggressive treatment on you. Do you have a wife and children? If so, we need to call them and, and tell them, you need to essentially tell them goodbye. Because you have about a 20% chance of surviving this."
Gupta: I can't even, can't even imagine. Is it hard to talk about?
Herbert: The hardest part of all to remember is the phone call to my wife and kids. I mean, that was just awful.
Gupta: What started as a cough and a fever, ended with 49-year-old Michael Herbert in the intensive care unit, unsure if he'd see ever his family again.
Herbert: I didn't know what was going to happen, if I was gonna wake up or not.
Gupta: Michael was in a medically induced coma and on a ventilator for the next six days. But just as quickly as he had become sick, he recovered. Not long after, he was released from the hospital.
And it struck me, that in all the numbers that we hear about coronavirus — number of people infected, number of people who have sadly died — we haven't heard as much about another group of patients, those who have recovered.
Maria Van Kerkhove, infectious disease epidemiologist and technical lead for Covid-19, World Health Organization: There are more than a million people that have recovered, many people are doing very well. It depends on how severe the virus was and what disease that they had.
Gupta: That's Maria Van Kerkhove, an infectious disease epidemiologist with the World Health Organization.
Van Kerkhove: We are seeing some individuals that are having some long-term problems with their lungs and breathing. But we need to follow individuals over time. Just because they test negative and they're released from hospital, there needs to be rehabilitation. There needs to be follow-up.
But the majority of people who do have Covid-19 will recover and will be OK.
Gupta: I wanted to find out how Michael was doing, so I followed up with him a few weeks after he'd been discharged from the hospital.
Herbert: I had to use a cane when I came out of the hospital. Like for a week or so I couldn't walk really without possibility of stumbling and falling. But my strength has come back, so that's part of my recovery.
I really don't have much of a sense of smell anymore. I really can't smell anything right now, unless I put my face right into it. But I haven't had a fever. I haven't had, you know, any of the symptoms since I got back. So I keep growing stronger.
Gupta: So it is true that most people will recover from Covid-19, but what does recovery really mean for them?
We know that even young, previously healthy, athletic people have reported shortness of breath months into their recovery.
Other symptoms might include fatigue, brain fog, memory loss.
But I think the biggest concern is the potential long-term impact on patients' lungs.