Ever since the pandemic hit the United States, health experts have noticed something peculiar. In some people, the effects of COVID-19 linger long after the infection fades. Even months after their initial infection, many still suffer from mysterious symptoms. This group of people has come to be known as “long haulers.”
Researchers to this day have no idea why some individuals can recover to a state prior to infection, while others don’t. Especially since some of these patients experienced little to no symptoms during their initial infection.
If you’ve been experiencing unusual symptoms for the past few months, it could mean that you have already been exposed to the coronavirus without even knowing it. Here are the most common symptoms that long haulers experience, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci.
1. Severe Fatigue
“We have been investigating and learning more and more about an interesting post-COVID 19 syndrome of individuals who recover from clinically recognizable disease who go on to have variable periods from weeks to months and possibly longer of lingering symptoms,” said Fauci.
Fatigue is one of the most common initial indicators of the virus. While most people who recover from their initial infection go back to normal energy levels, there are many that don’t. According to this study published in Nature, 53% of 143 people with COVID-19 reported fatigue two months after experiencing their first symptom despite having been discharged from the hospital.
2. Shortness of Breath
The same study mentioned above found that 43% of the group was also still suffering from shortness of breath after two months. “We know that COVID-19 attacks the lungs, causing inflammation. This may leave survivors with persistent shortness of breath,” Hackensack Meridian Health reported.
In a study conducted by the Indiana University School of Medicine, researchers found that many long haulers reported having a weakness or numbness in their muscles, along with body aches or muscle or joint pain.
Dysautonomia is a condition in which the nerves that regulate non-voluntary body functions also known as the autonomic nervous system (ANS), does not work properly. This may affect the functioning of the heart, blood vessels, sweat glands, intestines, bladder, and pupils.
5. Brain Fog
Fauci mentions that some long haulers experience brain fog, “or an inability to concentrate or focus.” Aluko Hope, a critical care specialist at Montefiore Hospital in New York City, told Wired that many of his patients experienced memory problems, with approximately one-third forgetting details such as a telephone number, where their keys are, or the basic rules of traffic.
Your body talks to you all the time. It just doesn’t use any language known to man. Instead, your body uses symptoms to signal when something’s wrong. For instance, being constipated is your body’s way of telling you to eat more dietary fiber. Unsurprisingly, the same concept applies to Covid-19.
So, if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned in this article, be sure to contact your medical professional for further testing.