Geriatrician, Hospitalist, Patient Advocate, Healthcare Educator

COVID-19 Long Haulers

We as a country have been living with COVID-19 for just over a year now. By now you have probably heard of people with long lasting recoveries from COVID-19 infection. These long haulers, as they are commonly known, suffer from nagging symptoms including fatigue, shortness of breath, depression, brain fog, change in taste or smell, muscle pain, weakness, hair loss, and anxiety.

Post-COVID-19 or post-acute COVID-19 is used to describe those who have symptoms that linger for more than 12 weeks after their initial diagnosis. Unfortunately, there is no rhyme or reason as to who becomes a long hauler and who does not. It is estimated that about 10% to 30% of COVID-19 patients will become “long haulers”. There are now post-COVID 19 clinics specifically geared to help these patients.

Unfortunately, not much is known but research is underway. There is no available remedy. At the present time, what is recommended is symptom management. Most of us in the medical community are encouraging adequate sleep, nutrition, exercise, and social interaction if possible. And remember to keeping a diary of symptoms so you can provide a detail account of your situation to your physician.

Finally Keep a positive attitude. Science is on our side, we will get through this.