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Dr. Fauci says this is how you can tell whether you have ‘long COVID’

December 22nd, 2020 at 7:05 PM
Long Covid
  • “Long COVID” is the label that’s been affixed to a strange and mysterious condition associated with the coronavirus pandemic that has bedeviled many people who contract the coronavirus and who subsequently get over it.
  • The condition known as “Long COVID” is characterized by having a mix of symptoms that often seem to be bizarre and unexplainable, post-coronavirus.
  • According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 18.1 million coronavirus cases have been identified in the US so far.

The longer the coronavirus pandemic goes on, there’s a chance some of you may have heard of a strange and mysterious phenomenon associated with COVID-19 infections, whereby people who contract the virus and are deemed by a doctor to have recovered from it, nevertheless, still endure a mix of symptoms that persist long after they beat the infection. This is known as “Long COVID,” a condition faced by many, but not all, coronavirus-sufferers.

As White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci explained during a recent conversation with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, “Long COVID” is an “unexplainable symptom complex that seems to be consistent among them without any laboratory data to indicate why they may be feeling that way.” I had a conversation about something unrelated a few months ago with Ok Go lead singer Damian Kulash, and it gave me my first sense that successfully beating COVID doesn’t necessarily mean you’re symptom-free. He told me about his having beaten COVID but still feeling run down at times, similar to the way you feel after you got a bad night’s sleep the night before.

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Below, you’ll find some of the signs and possible symptoms of “Long COVID” that health experts like Dr. Fauci warn people to be on the lookout for — especially since this condition is not always talked about with the same urgency that we give to the pandemic’s headline-grabbing numbers.

Speaking of those numbers, most people rightfully think of the scale of the pandemic in terms of mind-boggling statistics, such as the fact that more than 321,000 people in the US have died from the coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 18.1 million cases of the coronavirus have been identified in the US, and zero is the number of ICU beds left in some cities around the country.

Long COVID sufferers, however, are another facet of this pandemic, and they can experience any of the following:

  • Constant fatigue
  • Weird temperature fluctuations
  • Irregular sleep
  • Brain fog
  • Organ damage

“The idea that you get infected, either get no symptoms or you die — and if you don’t die, you’re okay — that’s just not true,” Dr. Fauci said. “There are going to be a lot of things that we’re going to be following that people are going to have trouble (with) even after they recover.” Which, of course, is all the more reason to wear face masks and keep yourself socially distanced from people outside your home, along with all the other things public health experts are urging people to do to keep them from getting COVID to begin with.

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.

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