Fever, shortness of breath, loss of sense of smell and taste, dry cough, fatigue. Those are just a few of the COVID-19 symptoms listed by the Centers for Disease Control. However, there are several others that have been identified by those infected with the virus. And, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, there is one in particular that he finds “disturbing.” "Many of you are now aware of what had long been called 'long COVID,'" said Fauci during this week’s White House COVID-19 Response Team briefing. "But actually, what that really is is post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection, which we're now referring to as 'PASC,' or P-A-S-C." Read on to find out what it is—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Dr. Fauci Calls PASC “Disturbing”
“We’re starting to see more and more people who apparently recover from the actual viral part of it, and then weeks later, they feel weak, they feel tired, they feel sluggish, they feel short of breath,” Fauci, the President’s Chief Medical Advisor, explained last year.
“It’s a chronic projection forward of symptoms, even though the virus is gone, and we think that’s probably an immunological effect,” he continued. “It’s very disturbing, because if this is true for a lot of people, then just recovering from this may not be OK.” Keep reading to see if you have the symptoms.
Nearly 30% of COVID Patients Had PASC, in One Recent Study
He has continued to discuss the condition, which he now refers to as PASC, or Post-Acute Sequelae of Covid-19. This week he pointed to a new University of Washington study, finding that 30% of patients reported symptoms for as long as nine months.
These are the PASC Symptoms
The symptoms? While there are over 100 according to surveys of those who suffer from the condition, they include fatigue, gastrointestinal issues, "brain fog," depression, anxiety, sleep disorders. "New symptoms sometimes arise well after the time of infection, or they evolve over time and persist for months," Fauci explained. "They can range from mild or annoying to actually quite incapacitating." (For a list of all 98 Symptoms, see here.)
There is No Cure for PASC—and Treatment is Limited
"It's very difficult to treat something when you don't know what the target of that treatment is," Fauci said. "There are a lot of important questions with this series of initiatives that we will ultimately answer." The other big issue for those who suffer from PASC? “The magnitude of the problem is not fully known,” he said. In other words, it isn’t clear if some people will ever recover from the condition. A healthy diet and immune-boosting supplements are recommended by many experts, as is seeing specialists for each symptom.
What to Do If You Feel You Have PASC
If you believe you might suffer from PASC contact your primary care physician. If they can’t help, you can try reaching out to a speciality clinic or join one of the online support groups, including Survivor Corps, where you will find a plethora of resources. Also, follow Fauci’s fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don’t travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.