COVID-19 can leave long-term effects that people may have missed if they didn’t confirm their original diagnosis with a doctor.
We’ve been in the ebb and flow of the COVID-19 pandemic since early 2020. The disease has disrupted our lives, to the degree where a 2019 world — one without worrying over face masks, travel, and COVID-19 variants — seems almost unthinkable.
Throughout the past two years, it’s possible for people to have gotten COVID-19 and then to have received their vaccines, or for them to have gotten their vaccines and then have caught COVID-19, or any of these in order.
It’s also possible for people to have had COVID-19 without knowing about it. In fact, many of them may be experiencing symptoms of long COVID-19 without knowing they’re related to the disease. Since some of these symptoms are so strange, it’s understandable not to connect them to a virus that’s considered mostly respiratory. These people may no longer be dealing with the COVID-19 virus, yet may still be reckoning with debilitating symptoms.
Here are three of the most common and concerning symptoms that suggest you’ve had COVID-19 and are dealing with its long term symptoms:
In conversation with Medscape, Dr. Anthony Fauci spoke about extreme fatigue. “And it’s extraordinary how many people have a post-viral syndrome that’s very strikingly similar to myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome. They just don’t get back to normal energy or normal feeling of good health,” he said. This condition worsens when people are exposed to extraneous physical and mental stress, but, unlike other forms of fatigue, doesn’t get better when people rest and sleep.
Another common side effect of long COVID is muscle aches and pain, also known as myalgia. This pain is strong and can be confused for other conditions, such as a pulled muscle or even a heart attack when the pain is located in the chest area.
Lastly, brain fog is another symptom that has been extensively reported. This blanket term envelops things like confusion, feeling scattered brain, and even forgetting the events of a trip or a moment you spent with friends and family. “There are thousands of people who have that,” Dr. Igor Koralnik, Professor of Neurology and Chief of Neuro-infectious Diseases and Global Neurology at Northwestern Medicine, told the New York Times.
“The impact on the workforce that’s affected is going to be significant.” Brain fog is one of the most mysterious side effects of COVID-19. It can affect anyone who suffered from it, even if their symptoms were mild.
In order to know if these symptoms are a sequel of a COVID-19 infection or if they’re an underlying condition of something else, it’s important to talk to a doctor and to get an expert opinion. Aside from providing some clarification, an expert may also suggest viable ways of moving forward and improving these symptoms.