Even as COVID-19 cases die down, post-COVID syndrome still plagues many individuals across the world. These individuals have faced ongoing COVID-19 symptoms for more than two weeks following diagnosis.
The most common of these symptoms include fatigue (affecting 58% of people), headache (affecting 44% of people), impaired focus (affecting 27% of people), hair loss (affecting 25% of people), and shortness of breath (affecting 24% of people). Other less common symptoms include depression, dementia, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, attention disorders, chest discomfort, cough, cardiovascular disorders (such as myocarditis and arrhythmia), depression, and more.
Many researchers have been studying post-COVID syndrome and specifically how to combat the fatigue which so many individuals face. Dr. Hikmat Pramukti explained that many individuals are still combatting fatigue 100 days after their first COVID-19 exposure. Post-COVID syndrome outcomes are worse for those who faced acute respiratory distress syndrome or other severe lung issues. 2/3rds of individuals in this subset still feel extremely fatigued one year after COVID-19 exposure.
Dr. Hikmat Pramukti explains that many of the symptoms these individuals face are extremely similar to a rare condition called chronic fatigue syndrome. Those diagnosed with this rare disease feel constant fatigue, face sleep issues, experience automonic dysfunction, neurocognitive disability, pain, and physical ailments.
Who is at risk for post-COVID syndrome? Honestly anyone. The inflammation can linger even when the virus itself has cleared. That said, those who have comorbidities such as obesity, a mental health condition, or hypertension, are more at risk than others. We still don’t know the exact cause of the syndrome, but it is clear that those with other health conditions tend to fair worse.
You can read more about this issue and what research is being done to combat it here.