What Is Long Covid And Should You Be Worried?
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Ever since the Covid pandemic became a global focus of attention in the spring of 2020, many of us have had to deal with things as they come and look at the future beyond the pandemic. That’s something many of us hoped would be on the horizon now, but with the existence of variants and the uncertainty over whether the condition has what is referred to as “vaccine escape”, we may be waiting a while to be able to declare Covid “over”.
Along with other variants and vaccines, there is another concern – that of “Long Covid”. Many people who were infected with the virus, and who made their recovery, have found that even on a personal level, Covid isn’t over for them. So, for these “long haulers”, what is the prognosis, and should you be worried about the potential for long-term effects?
Who is at risk from Long Covid?
In short, potentially everyone. People who had very minor symptoms have reported suffering from the symptoms of the post-viral syndrome informally known as Long Covid. People who had no symptoms at all and may not even have tested positive at the time – but have later been revealed to have some viral antibodies – have also experienced complications.
What are the symptoms of Long Covid?
Not everyone who is identified as having the long form of the condition has all, or even most, of the symptoms. However, there are some aspects that are more prominent than others. These include extreme fatigue – including former marathon runners struggling to climb stairs months after infection – as well as brain fog, dizziness, and joint pain.
Some of the less common, but still possible symptoms include depression, anxiety, and hearing loss. While you needn’t immediately make an appointment to see if you need hearing aids, it’s worth keeping an eye out for any unusual symptoms if you have been exposed to the virus at any point since last winter.
I’m vaccinated, haven’t had the virus, nor any of the symptoms. Am I in the clear?
Because Long Covid is a relatively new phenomenon – as Covid-19 itself is – it is very hard at the present time to say who’s safe and who isn’t. As we’ve noted, there are signs that some of the variants may be able to evade the vaccines that are currently available, which means you can’t be 100% sure that you won’t get infected even if you have had both jabs.
Of course, that sounds concerning but bear in mind that each year brings new ‘flu variants which can have significant virus escape, so it’s not a wholly different state of affairs. Being cautious of Covid is still a sound idea, as much for the virus itself as for the post-viral syndrome. In due course, medical science will gain more information and be better able to keep both short and long versions of the condition more securely penned in.
If the symptoms of Long Covid sound familiar to you, it is worth speaking to a doctor to see if you can get tested for antibodies and find out what you need to do next. The symptoms can be managed as long as they are identified and monitored.
*This article is based on personal suggestions and/or experiences and is for informational purposes only. This should not be used as professional advice. Please consult a professional where applicable.