"Long Haulers" are the names for people who suffer from COVID-19 symptoms long after the typical time the virus is supposed to last. These people can experience symptoms for days or even weeks after COVID is supposed to end—some have experienced them since the pandemic began, and they may never end. Here are signs that you could be suffering from Long COVID, according to doctors. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
You Will Likely Have Chronic Fatigue
The most common symptom of Long COVID is fatigue—many feel chronically tired after the virus is supposed to be over. Harvard Medical School instructor Jason Maley said in The Harvard Gazette that, "They felt like they were fine and then over the ensuing four months they are just so fatigued… They're exhausted all day long." This can interfere with everyday tasks, from doing the dishes to exercise, and puts some jobs at risk. This crushing fatigue is one reason officials are calling for Long COVID to be classified as a disability.
You Could Have Shortness Of Breath
Another possible symptom of COVID-19 is shortness of breath, as the virus attacks the respiratory system. Naturally, Long COVID sufferers will still experience shortness of breath and breathing problems. Maley said that Long COVID patients "can barely breathe when they walk around, and they have these other severe symptoms that are really out of proportion to the initial symptoms."
You Could Have Trouble Thinking
Long COVID patients have a tendency to struggle with thinking, or "brain fog" as it is being referred to. According to the Mayo Clinic's Greg Vanichkachorn, this can lead to people struggling with daily tasks. "Unfortunately, of all the symptoms that patients find interfere with their lives, this is the one that is the most interfering, because it usually shows up in the workplace — patients are not able to do the things they normally do and end up getting written up or having a performance improvement plan. And that's quite stressful for the patient," Vanichkachorn says to AARP.
You Could Have Any of 200+ Symptoms
A recent Lancet study found more than 200 Long COVID symptoms, including anxiety and depression. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has also warned of "myalgia," aches and pains. "Fatigue or muscle weakness was the most frequently reported symptom at both 6 months and 12 months, while almost half of patients reported having at least one symptom, such as sleep difficulties, palpitations, joint pain, or chest pain, at 12 months," say the authors of the Lancet study. "The study shows that for many patients, full recovery from COVID-19 will take more than 1 year, and raises important issues for health services and research."
Signs You Caught COVID in the First Place
COVID sufferers can experience cold-like symptoms, which can cause people to think that they just have a seasonal cold. "Some people, for the initial two weeks of their infection, had just cold-like symptoms that lasted for three days," says Maley. Or you may suffer the more traditional symptoms: dry cough, loss of your sense of taste or smell, stomach issues. Get a COVID test ASAP if you fear you may have COVID. 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.