Even after the onset of symptoms, diagnoses, and what you thought was recovery, if you’re still experiencing COVID weeks or months later, you’re not alone.
People who contract any variant of the COVID virus typically develop symptoms that can last for days or weeks. But some may never go away completely, even if they have a mild case. An estimated 10-30% of people who contract the COVID virus become what is known as a “Long-Hauler.”
Read on for six key symptoms that you may have had the COVID virus.
Signs You Have Long COVID
The after-effects of COVID (Long COVID) can be felt for months after infection and vary in severity. Symptoms may come and go, or they might just hit you full-on without warning!
These symptoms can include:
- Severe Fatigue
- Joint pain
- Muscle Aches
- Chest pain
Below are some characteristics of these symptoms and how to cope with them.
Severe Fatigue and COVID
According to recent research, people who had COVID-19 may be at increased risk for developing chronic fatigue syndrome. It’s not clear if this is because of the infection itself or some other factor like genetics, but it could make sense given how SARS led many sufferers into chronic disease later in life as well.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is often misunderstood and poorly understood. It can cause major disruption in the lives of those who live with it, making them unable to do their usual activities on a daily basis for months or years at a time if not properly treated/managed by a doctor.
CFS’s longevity distinguishes it from mild fatigue, which is regularly associated with COVID and other illnesses.
Joint Stiffness and Muscle Pain after COVID
Joint pain is not only experienced by those who are old or sick. A recent study published in The Lancet found that nearly 15% of COVID-19 patients reported experiencing joint pain, an inflammatory condition caused by viruses like the common cold and COVID, which can also lead to more serious conditions such as arthritis.
Viruses can stimulate an acute inflammatory response throughout the body, including muscle aches and joint pain. Inflammatory arthritis is caused by autoimmune conditions or sometimes just viruses. This type of condition may show up in your knees, shoulders, ankles, wrists, hips, etc., resulting from infections from viruses such as COVID.
Breathlessness and Cough Post COVID
If you or someone in your family has recently experienced COVID, it is important to know that persistent cough and breathlessness are common. According to many experts, these symptoms can linger for weeks after the acute phase of the illness.
A persistent dry cough can lead into cycles, where the excessive coughing becomes worse over time and begins irritating your respiratory system even more than before- eventually leading to inflammation, which worsens both symptoms and the duration of this condition.
Staying hydrated and taking rest can help alleviate symptoms. Click here to read more strategies to help deal with a post-Covid cough.
In addition to a dry cough, you may experience breathlessness. Breathlessness is characterized by feeling short of breath or the feeling that breathing is work with a tightness in your chest. Take care of yourself by breaking up tasks into smaller portions, resting, and understanding that you just won’t get everything done some days. Here are some more tips.
Body Aches can be a Symptom of Long COVID
The body’s immune system is a complex mechanism that produces inflammation in response to the fight against infections. As a result, aches and pains can be caused by many viral diseases, including COVID-19.
Your body aches may be mild or severe and can have a varying effect on daily activities if left untreated. Rest, hydration, and over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, can help alleviate body aches caused by inflammation.
New or Worsening Chest Pain after COVID
Chest pain during and after a COVID infection has been reported as a common symptom. This can be worrying but usually not life-threatening. However, there are other causes of chest pain that, if presented for the first time, might not have anything to do with COVID symptoms.
If you are experiencing new or worse chest pain symptoms, you should consult your primary care physician.
What to do Next
If you are currently experiencing post-COVID syndrome symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact your primary care physician. Your doctor will help diagnose the severity of your lingering ailments and treat those that are mild while referring any more advanced cases for specialist treatment as needed.
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