Most people recover from COVID-19 infection within weeks, but a percentage of individuals (including children and otherwise healthy people) experience symptoms for longer than four weeks. The virus can damage the lungs, heart, kidney, skin and brain, which may increase the risk of long-term health problems. Even people who did not have symptoms when they were infected can have post-COVID conditions.
Some of those symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Joint pain
- Chest pain
- Memory, concentration or sleep problems
- Muscle pain or headache
- Fast or pounding heartbeat
- Loss of smell or taste
- Depression or anxiety
- Dizziness when you stand
- Worsened symptoms after physical or mental activities
- Skin rashes
The best way to prevent these long-term complications is to prevent COVID-19 by:
- Getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
- Wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth to help protect yourself and others.
- Staying 6 feet apart from others who don’t live with you.
- Avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
- Washing your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.
If you think you have a post-COVID condition, talk to your healthcare provider about options for managing or treating your symptoms and resources for support. Post-COVID care clinics are opening at medical centers across the United States to address patient needs. For a more detailed review, see the CDC link found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/long-term-effects.html
COVID-19 and Vaccination
CDC recommends that people be vaccinated regardless of whether they already had COVID-19. Additionally, there is anecdotal evidence that being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 improves Post-Covid Syndrome symptoms.
- Could the COVID-19 Vaccine Help Long-Hauler Symptoms?
- Why Vaccines May Be Helping Some With Long COVID
- Some With Long-Haul COVID See Relief After Vaccination