One of the scariest aspects of the coronavirus pandemic is that we're dealing with a novel virus, one we're learning new things about every day. Doctors and researchers still have so much to uncover when it comes to this disease, including how long it can linger in certain patients. There has recently been more focus on COVID long-haulers, people who get sick and experience symptoms for months. On Sept. 15, CNN's Chris Cuomo spoke with 9-year-old Eli Lipman, a COVID long-hauler who has been battling a fever since March.
"Kids, I'm sorry to say this, but it is a big deal. It will hurt," Eli said, alongside his father, Jonathan Lipman, who is also struggling with long-haul COVID. "You just got to face the truth—sometimes you're not OK."
According to Jonathan, Eli had a low-grade fever for months. This led to a "maddening" experience of doctors dismissing the family's concerns, because the fever was only 100 degrees. According to the Mayo Clinic, a fever is usually only dangerous when it reaches 103 degrees or higher. But a 100-degree fever every day for months is certainly alarming, as Jonathan noted.
"Even this morning, he had a fever again," Jonathan said. "He was back down by the afternoon, but it really wiped him out this morning, and that's still a thing that we're struggling with."
Eli described other symptoms, including extreme fatigue, one of the more common COVID complications, saying, "I couldn't get up. I didn't want to do anything." He said he now has more energy and is able to walk around more, which he shared as "good news" for fellow long-haulers, particularly other children who might be going through the same experience.
Eli's case of long-haul COVID is certainly an unusual one because of his age: Children seem to be less susceptible to severe cases of coronavirus, as CNN notes. In fact, a large number of kids may be asymptomatic, which is why many people are worried about the potential for school openings to lead to COVID outbreaks, with young people as silent carriers.
Nevertheless, symptomatic COVID is possible in kids, and case numbers have been rising among children. And while most young people may experience very mild illness, serious complications are possible, including the long-haul syndrome that Eli and his father are facing.
Of course, fever and fatigue are only two of the many long-haul symptoms we know about. Here are some of the other most commonly reported complications. And for a full list of the symptoms COVID long-haulers have reported, these are The 98 Longest Lasting COVID Symptoms You Need to Know About.
The Survivor Corps Facebook group reported muscle and back pain as the second-most common long-lasting COVID symptom. Marcus Tomoff, a 28-year-old COVID long-hauler, told Time that he suffers from back and chest pain. And for some COVID long-haulers you may have heard of, check out these 7 Celebrities With Scary Long-Term COVID Symptoms.
Tomoff also cited anxiety as one of his long-lasting symptoms. Almost 50 percent of COVID long-haulers listed anxiety as a symptom in the Survivor Corps survey. And for more about the enduring effects of coronavirus, discover The 15 Most Common Conditions That COVID Survivors Share.
An NPR article on people with long-lasting COVID symptoms includes trouble breathing or an inability to catch one's breath as a frequent complaint among long-haulers. "Shortness of breath" or "difficulty breathing" was the third-most common symptom in the Survivor Corps survey. And if you're concerned about your own symptoms, These 2 Symptoms Tell You Whether It's COVID-19 or the Flu.
Both the Time and NPR reports mention nausea as a long-lasting coronavirus symptom. According to the Survivor Corps survey, 1 in 5 COVID long-haulers experience nausea or vomiting. And for more up-to-date news, sign up for our daily newsletter.