The term “Long COVID” has been frequently spoken about in the news media as of late. If you still feel like you are recovering from lingering symptoms from a prolonged past COVID-19 infection, your symptoms may be due to a case of Long or Post COVID-19.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Long COVID or Post COVID-19 as a condition “that occurs in individuals with a history of probable or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, usually three months from the onset of COVID-19 with symptoms and that last for at least two months and cannot be explained by an alternative diagnosis.”
Anyone who has been infected with COVID-19 can later have symptoms of Post COVID-19 infection. Post COVID-19 affects everyone differently, both in duration and severity. The WHO definition includes the symptoms of:
- Shortness of breath
- Cognitive dysfunction
- Any others that have an impact on everyday functioning
Other symptoms also commonly reported include:
- Loss of sensation in limbs, “pins and needles” feeling
- Sleep problems
- Dizziness on standing
- Mood changes
- Fast-beating or pounding heart
- Chest pain
- Stomach pain
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
It is essential to understand that no one of these symptoms on its own indicates a Post COVID-19 infection. It could be a sign of another illness; if symptoms are persistent, you should discuss them with your primary care practitioner.
The majority of people who suffer from Covid-19 recover within a few weeks; it is estimated that between 10 and 20 percent experience Post COVID-19 symptoms. In some cases, they may have even been non-symptomatic when they were first infected by COVID-19.
You can see from the list above that there are many reported symptoms of Post COVID-19.
Prevention is easier than finding a cure. The best way to prevent post-COVID-19 conditions is to reduce your risk of a COVID-19 infection. If you are not yet fully vaccinated or have not had your booster, you should bring yourself (and your household) up to date. In doing so, you help to protect those closest to you – your family, friends, and colleagues.
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