Some people who have been infected with COVID-19 can experience long-term effects, known as post-COVID conditions (PCC) or long COVID. The following is updated information from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
Post-COVID conditions can include a wide range of ongoing health problems; these conditions can last weeks, months, or years.
· Post-COVID conditions are found more often in people who had severe COVID-19 illness, but anyone who has been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 can experience post-COVID conditions.
· People not vaccinated against COVID-19 and who become infected may have a higher risk of developing post-COVID conditions compared to people previously vaccinated.
· While most people with post-COVID conditions have evidence of infection or COVID-19 illness, in some cases, a person with post-COVID conditions may not have tested positive for the virus or known they were infected.
Post-COVID conditions can include:
· Tiredness or fatigue that interferes with daily life
· Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental effort (also known as “post-exertional malaise”)
· Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as “brain fog”)
· Sleep problems
· Dizziness when you stand up (lightheadedness)
· Pins-and-needles feelings
· Change in smell or taste
· Depression or anxiety
People with post-COVID conditions may develop or continue to have symptoms that are hard to explain and manage. Clinical evaluations and results of routine blood tests, chest x-rays, and electrocardiograms may be normal. The symptoms are similar to those reported by people with ME/CFS (myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome) and other poorly understood chronic illnesses that may occur after other infections. People with these unexplained symptoms may be misunderstood by their healthcare providers, which can result in a long time for them to get a diagnosis and receive appropriate care or treatment. If you are possibly experiencing post-covid neurological symptoms, please make an appointment with a MCHN provider for an evaluation.
Alice Wong, NP