Long COVIDSome people may suffer long-term health effects after a COVID-19 infection. These are conditions that occur four or more weeks following infection and may be called chronic COVID, post-acute COVID-19, long-haul COVID, or commonly, long COVID.

Long COVID conditions are found more often in those who had severe COVID-19 illness, but may sometimes affect those who had only mild illness or who had no symptoms.

More information from the CDC about long COVID

Commonly reported long COVID symptoms include:
  • Tiredness or fatigue that interferes with daily life
  • Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental effort (known as "post-exertional malaise")
  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Cough
  • Fast-beating or pounding heart (heart palpitations)
  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes called "brain fog")
  • Headache
  • Sleep problems
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness while standing
  • Changes in smell or taste
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Diarrhea or stomach pain
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Rash
  • Changes in menstrual cycles
These are not all of the symptoms that have been reported. Long COVID may affect people differently, and some people experience a wide range of health problems with different combinations of symptoms which sometimes go away and then return. Long COVID may last months or years, and may cause disability. Multiple organs may be affected, and some people have developed autoimmune conditions following COVID-19 infection.

Preventing long COVID

People with underlying health conditions, and those affected by health inequities may be more likely to get long COVID. Staying up-to-date with your COVID-19 vaccines is the best way to help prevent COVID-19, severe illness from COVID, and long COVID. Find COVID-19 vaccination locations in Pima County.

Living with long COVID

There is no single test to diagnose long COVID. The CDC and its health partners are working to learn more about who is at highest risk of developing long COVID and why, as well as potential treatments that might help.

If you think you or your child has long COVID or a post-COVID condition, please talk to your medical provider. The CDC has tips on how to talk to your doctor about post-COVID conditions. Although post-COVID conditions appear to be less common in children and adolescents than in adults, long-term effects after COVID-19 do occur in children and adolescents.
The National Institutes of Health’s RECOVER Initiative is recruiting volunteers interested in sharing their experiences and participating in long COVID research. You can also learn more about what the CDC is doing to better understand long COVID.

Healthy Town Hall: Long-Haul COVID Signs, Symptoms and Treatment Options

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