Long COVID is a term used to describe the persistence of symptoms in some people infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. It refers to the phenomenon of having symptoms that last for weeks or months after the acute phase of the illness has passed. The symptoms can be physical (such as fatigue, shortness of breath, and muscle pain) or mental (such as anxiety and depression).
The exact cause of long COVID still needs to be fully understood, but several theories exist. Some possible contributing factors include:
- Persistent viral replication: The virus may continue replicating in the body for weeks or months after the initial infection.
- Immune response: A prolonged or overactive immune response may contribute to long-term symptoms.
- Chronic inflammation: Long COVID may be related to ongoing low-level inflammation in the body.
- Co-infection with other pathogens: The presence of other pathogens in the body can complicate the course of illness and prolong symptoms.
- Individual factors: Certain factors such as age, underlying health conditions, and genetics may play a role in developing long COVID.
It’s important to note that research on long COVID is ongoing, and more information about the cause and contributing factors is emerging.
Symptoms of long COVID can vary from person to person, but common symptoms include:
- Brain fog or difficulty concentrating
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain or pressure
- Muscle and joint pain
- Heart palpitations
- Loss of taste or smell
- Depression and anxiety
It’s important to note that symptoms can persist for different lengths of time for different people. If you’re concerned about your symptoms, it’s always best to speak to a medical professional.
To determine if you have long COVID, a healthcare professional may:
- Ask about your symptoms and their duration.
- Check your medical history and previous COVID-19 test results.
- Conduct a physical examination.
- Order laboratory tests, imaging studies, or other diagnostic tests
- It is important to get medical attention if you have ongoing symptoms after having a positive COVID-19 test or after having had symptoms consistent with COVID-19, so a proper diagnosis can be made. Keep in mind that the symptoms of long COVID can overlap with other conditions, so it’s important to get a definitive diagnosis from a healthcare professional.
If you are experiencing Long Covid symptoms that are taking the joy out of your life, we’re here to help. contact us at (818) 464-4870 to set up an appointment.