Long COVID: What We Know About This Long Term COVID-19 After Infection

What Is Long COVID

Long COVID is a term used to describe the persistence of symptoms in those who have recovered from COVID-19. Those infected with COVID-19 developed persistent or new symptoms that can last for weeks or months.

This term was first used by a COVID-19 patient in Italy named Elisa Perego. She used this as a hashtag on social media after her COVID-19 infection in May 2020. She described experiencing continuous COVID-19 symptoms even after her recovery.

Long COVID is also called Long Haulers or Post COVID syndrome.

According to ONS (The Office for National Statistics) in the UK, people who develop Long COVID are not linked to how severe their COVID-19 infection was. Their study shows that less than 10% were hospitalized while some were asymptomatic. Long COVID affects all age ranges, even children despite, patients being physically fit and healthy.

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The 3 Phases of COVID-19

There are three (3) COVID-19 phases divided by the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

1. Acute COVID-19: The signs and symptoms of the COVID-19 infection last up to 4 weeks.
2. Ongoing Symptomatic COVID-19: The signs and symptoms of the infection last from 4 to 12 weeks.
3. Post COVID-19 Syndrome: COVID-19 symptoms continue after 12 weeks.

The term Long COVID is given to symptoms that continue well after the initial COVID-19 infection.

Symptoms Of Long COVID

Symptoms of Long COVID vary but mainly include:
– Fatigue
– Cough
– Myalgia or muscle pain
– Brian Fog or a term used to describe when a person feels sluggish, fuzzy when thinking
– Dyspnea or shortness of breath
– Anosmia or loss of smell
– Distortion of the sense of taste (Dysgeusia)

According to a study from the Elsevier Public Health Emergency Collection, Long COVID could be related to organ damage, post- viral syndrome and, others since the COVID-19 attacks different body systems in some patients.

The COVID-19 pandemic is unpredictable, with new waves of infection emerging in different parts of the world. There is an expectation that the aftermath of this pandemic is tremendous and can affect so many more people. Thus, it is necessary to become aware of the risk factors and countermeasures against the COVID-19 virus.