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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, says there's never been a disease he's seen that's quite as unpredictable and adaptable as coronavirus. That's evidenced by the pervasive way it infects you, but also in the symptoms it produces. Fauci mentioned some of the longest-lasting symptoms on last night's 60 Minutes. Read on for the key takeaways, and don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Fatigue is the #1 most commonly reported symptom in a survey of "long haulers"—those who suffer symptoms for months after shedding the COVID virus. "If you talk to a significant number of people, they will tell you that, for anywhere from weeks to months and possibly longer, that they have symptoms that are characterized by fatigue," said Fauci. "This is something we really need to seriously look at because it very well might be a post-viral syndrome associated with COVID-19," he said at July's International AIDS Conference. In fact, Fauci calls the symptoms "highly suggestive" of Chronic fatigue syndrome, also called CFS, or myalgic encephalomyelitis, a debilitating syndrome that causes fatigue, migraines and other inflammatory symptoms—for which there is currently no cure.
"…which really means the difficulty concentrating," said Dr. Fauci on 60 Minutes. Here's more from the New York Times: "It's becoming known as Covid brain fog: troubling cognitive symptoms that can include memory loss, confusion, difficulty focusing, dizziness and grasping for everyday words. Increasingly, Covid survivors say brain fog is impairing their ability to work and function normally." 'There are thousands of people who have that,' said Dr. Igor Koralnik, chief of neuro-infectious disease at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, who has already seen hundreds of survivors at a post-Covid clinic he leads. 'The impact on the work force that's affected is going to be significant.'"
"The other thing that we're seeing that's a bit disturbing is that the degree of cardiovascular abnormalities by scans and by other diagnostics tests," said Dr. Fauci. "It may be insignificant, but I don't know that now."
Dr. Fauci Begs You to Wear Your Mask
Fauci feels the proof of the effectiveness of masks to prevent COVID spread is in the data—and pointed to the President getting sick as a data point. "I was worried that he was going to get sick when I saw him in a completely precarious situation of crowded, no separation between people, and almost nobody wearing a mask. When I saw that on TV, I said, 'Oh my goodness. Nothing good can come outta that, that's gotta be a problem.' And then sure enough, it turned out to be a superspreader event."
How to Avoid COVID-19
Observe Fauci's fundamentals: Wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with, practice good hand hygiene and, to protect your life and the lives of others, and don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.