Could You Be Suffering From Long COVID?

November 17, 2021

Clinical Contributors to this story:

While most people recover from COVID-19 after a few weeks, others continue to suffer long after the virus no longer shows up on a COVID test. The world is getting better at preventing and caring for COVID-19 with vaccines and treatments. But this new condition, which goes by several names, including long COVID, long-haul COVID, chronic COVID and post-acute COVID-19 conditions, remains largely misunderstood.

Who’s at Risk for Long COVID?

While we know certain risk factors increase the chances of experiencing serious COVID symptoms, including those who smoke, have high blood pressure, have diabetes or are overweight, experts don’t know why some continue to suffer with COVID symptoms long after infection.

Long COVID can affect anyone, including young people—even children—as well as those who are athletic and otherwise healthy. It can strike both those who had severe symptoms, those who had very mild symptoms and even those who had no symptoms at all when they tested positive.

Signs of Long COVID

Long-haulers’ symptoms vary widely, but the most common include:

  • Fatigue
  • Discomfort after exertion
  • Brain fog
  • Sleep problems
  • Heart palpitations and rapid heartbeat
  • Muscle aches and joint pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness and vertigo
  • Headache
  • Hair loss
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Low-grade, intermittent fevers
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Earache, hearing loss and/or ringing in the ears
  • Rashes

Some people have only one of the symptoms, while others have several.

Help for Long-Haulers 

Hackensack Meridian Health’s COVID Recovery Center (833-565-0405) is dedicated to helping COVID-19 patients after their recovery. The COVID Recovery Center provides:

  • A group of doctors who have treated over a thousand patients suffering from Covid Long Haul symptoms
  • Continuing care for those experiencing enduring side effects such as lung, heart and behavioral health problems, with access to research and new advances
  • A specialized COVID Rehabilitation Program at JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute
  • A specialized multidisciplinary COVID Recovery Center just for children and adolescents up to age 22

Remember, the best way to prevent long COVID is to not get the virus at all. Get vaccinated and follow current CDC guidance for mask wearing and social gatherings.

The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.

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