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Over the last several months, a lot of attention has come to be focused on a group of people who experience prolonged symptoms of COVID-19 infections, in some cases, indefinitely. The long version of COVID, which has been officially dubbed post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), may impact up to 10 percent of those infected with the virus, and currently there is no cure. Today at the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on “Examining Our Covid-19 Response: An Update from Federal Officials,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, revealed the main symptoms that these people, referred to as “long haulers,” are commonly plagued with. Read on to learn about the symptoms—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
First of All, Long COVID Is “Not Imaginary,” says Dr. Fauci
Dr. Fauci started off by emphasizing the condition is a “really serious and real issue” not to be overlooked. “It's not imaginary. It varies from person to person,” he confirmed. He also admitted that it is “very puzzling” compared to an initial COVID infection, “because it's different than if someone is in ICU” with symptoms like pulmonary function abnormality, cardiomyopathy and stroke volume that's down. “It's different than that. It's people who recover, have the virus no longer there and have a persistent of things,” he explained, going on to list some of the key symptoms.
You May Experience Severe Fatigue
Dr. Fauci describes long COVID fatigue as “chronic.” According to many long haulers, it is also debilitating, making it nearly impossible to get out of bed and perform daily duties like work or going to school.
Your Muscles Might Ache
Muscle aches and pains are another one of the defining symptoms of PASC, according to Dr. Fauci. He calls this “myalgia.” “Myalgia describes muscle aches and pain, which can involve ligaments, tendons and fascia, the soft tissues that connect muscles, bones and organs,” says Johns Hopkins.
You Might Experience Temperature Dysregulation
According to Dr. Fauci, long haulers often experience irregularities in body temperature. This can be in the form of a fever or chills, or even excessive sweating.
You Might Suffer Neurological Issues
Fauci adds that many long haulers report “funny kinds of neurological issues that they can’t explain.” (Senator Tim Kaine had used this language in his question to Dr. Fauci, describing his own neurological side effects post-COVID.) In other discussions he has brought up brain fog, which he defined as “just a strange feeling of being unable to focus or concentrate for any period of time” is also a common complaint of long haulers.
You Might Have Tachycardia
In other talks he has mentioned, “unexplainable tachycardia,” which he describes it as “a rapid beating” of the heart that is unexplained. “Usually when you exercise your heart beat goes much quicker,” he said. However, for long haulers, “they're lying in bed and their heart rate is 110 to 105, 115,” which is “distinctly abnormal for someone who's sitting down or in bed.”
What to Do if You Experience These Symptoms
If you had COVID and are experiencing these symptoms post-infection, you should contact your healthcare provider ASAP. Additionally, you can reach out to any of the post-COVID treatment centers popping up around the country. In the meantime, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.