What Is Post-Covid Syndrome?
The majority of Covid-19 patients recover within a few weeks of infection. But some suffer from ongoing or intermittent symptoms more than four weeks after infection leaving sufferers wondering “How long does Covid last?!” This condition is known as Post-Covid Syndrome or long-haul Covid, and it can happen even in patients who were asymptomatic during their original infection.
In this article, we look at Post-Covid Syndrome and its symptoms, any of which can appear in various combinations and with varying severity.
Post-Covid Syndrome Symptoms
Some of the new and ongoing symptoms experienced by patients with Post-Covid Syndrome can be persistent or intermittent. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the most often reported long-haul symptoms are fatigue, shortness of breath, cough, and chest pain. However, the list of possible long-haul Covid symptoms is much longer.
Any different combination of the following symptoms more than one month after a Covid infection could signal long-haul Covid.
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble breathing
- Difficulty thinking of concentrating (“brain fog”)
- Chest pain
- Symptoms made worse with activity
- Stomach pain
- Accelerated heart rate
- Joint and muscle pain
- Tingling in limbs
- Sleep problems
- Dizziness on standing up
- Change in smell or taste
In addition, patients who have suffered a severe infection of Covid-19 may experience more severe symptoms that require a doctor to diagnose. There are multiorgan effects and autoimmune conditions that can arise over an extended time. Multiorgan effects can affect most organs including the brain. Rarely, children can suffer a condition known as a multisystem inflammatory syndrome which can also lead to multiorgan effects.
Some patients have a higher likelihood of experiencing a severe case of Covid-19, including smokers and patients with high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity. However, it is less clear how these factors affect Post-Covid Syndrome. More research is needed into what causes long-haul Covid in some patients and not others. But the primary causes appear to be related to organ damage, persistent inflammation, autoimmune responses.
How Long Does Covid Last?
Unfortunately, this answer is unknown. Simply because Covid-19 only became widespread during 2020, there is not yet sufficient medical data to estimate the long-term effects of Covid-19. Virtually all Covid-19 patients are less than one year into their recovery – too early to say how long any condition might last.
What Is Post-Covid Syndrome Treatment?
Treating Post-Covid Syndrome requires diagnosis by a doctor. If acute underlying causes like organ damage can be eliminated from the possibilities, treatment of less severe symptoms may include treatment by a physical therapist, breathing therapy, medications, or still other options. First contact a doctor to discuss your symptoms and make a plan for treatment.
There is a lot to think about – we understand. If you have questions about Post Covid Syndrome or any of the conditions discussed here, connecting with a doctor in a discrete setting has never been easier.
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