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Long COVID Fast Facts

Long COVID Fast Facts

April 06, 2023 Posted in: Health & Wellness  2 minute read time

 

Most people who get COVID-19 recover within a few days to a few weeks. However, it’s possible to feel the effects for several months or years.

Long COVID, medically known as post-acute COVID syndrome, occurs when someone has ongoing symptoms or develops new symptoms after recovering from a COVID-19 infection.

“Long COVID or post-acute COVID-19 syndrome involves a variety of symptoms that people experience more than four weeks after getting COVID-19,” said Regina Kaur, MD, CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group – Primary Care in London. “Symptoms can be new or returning, and in some people it can last over several months.”

Symptoms of Long COVID

Long COVID-19 symptoms vary widely and may come and go. Some people have mild symptoms. Others have symptoms that can significantly impact daily life.

Common symptoms include:

  • Anxiety or depression
  • Chest pain
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Headache
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Menstrual cycle changes
  • Pounding or rapid heartbeat
  • Rash
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sleep issues

Long COVID may increase the risk of developing other conditions, such as postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). POTS affects the autonomic nervous system, which manages bodily functions that happen automatically.

Managing Long COVID

There are no standard treatments for long COVID. If you get COVID-19, it’s not possible to entirely prevent long COVID. However, getting a COVID-19 vaccine can lower your risk.

“The best way to avoid long COVID complications is to prevent infection from coronavirus,” Dr. Kaur said. “Practicing hand hygiene and staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are effective ways to avoid getting COVID-19.”

To learn more about long COVID, find a CHI Saint Joseph Health provider.

A version of this article originally appeared in the Winter 2023 print edition of Spirit of Health.

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