Long covid is now an established – and deeply concerning – outcome of infection with the COVID-19 virus. People who have had COVID for a long time can experience debilitating symptoms long after they have “recovered” from the infection, and the consequences are far-reaching. “It’s not a sprain or a strain where someone twists their ankle and we know in x months they’re going to be there,” says Roberta Etcheverry, CEO of Diversified Management Group, a disability management consultancy. “It’s not – someone was helping move a patient, and he hurt his back, and he can’t do that kind of work anymore. He has to do something else.” Here are five warning signs of a long COVID, according to experts. Read on and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure signs you’ve already had COVID.
Long-term chronic fatigue is one of the most common signs of long COVID, doctors warn. “It was shocking” says Alex Truong, MD. “I have never seen, with other infections, symptoms so widespread all over the body for so long.”
Ongoing brain fog could be a symptom of long COVID. “We found that even mild COVID can cause significant inflammation in the brain that disrupts brain cells and is expected to contribute to cognitive impairment,” says Michelle Monje, MD, PhD, professor of neurology and neurological sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine.
Research shows that people can suffer from depression and anxiety a full year after being infected with COVID-19. “Most of us have experienced some sort of mental distress during the pandemic, but this shows that people with COVID-19 had a much higher risk of mental health disorders than their contemporaries,” says Ziyad Al-Aly, a clinical epidemiologist at Washington University in St. Louis and chief of research at the VA St. Louis Health Care System.. “It’s a wake-up call.”
Millions of people are still experiencing changes in their taste and smell after contracting COVID-19.
“To now have these millions more people around the world with reduced ability to smell – this may just be another public health crisis,” says rhinologist Dr. Zara Patel.
“They tend to be upset about the loss of smell. It’s such an important part of our daily lives and what makes us human,” says rhinologist Dr. Aria Jafari. “The most common thing I hear is that it leads to social isolation and feeling disconnected from the world and society as they know it. And that can be really embarrassing.”
Insomnia and other sleep disturbances have been reported as signs of long COVID. “Sleep disturbances are one of the most common symptoms in patients who have had COVID-19,” says sleep medicine specialist Cinthya Pena Orbea, MD. “They report insomnia, fatigue, brain fog, and sometimes you even see circadian rhythm disturbances.” AAnd to protect your life and the lives of others, do not visit any of these 35 places where you are most likely to catch COVID.
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer passionate about making science and research-based information accessible to the general public. Read more