The reason? It can take time for the body to completely clear an infection, which is why the CDC defines prolonged COVID as symptoms that last at least four weeks. Some experts say it could take six weeks or more to fully recover from an illness like COVID-19, even if your case was mild or asymptomatic.
“This [cronología] it will definitely vary from person to person,” says Dr. Fidaa Shaib, associate professor of pulmonary medicine, critical care medicine and sleep medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “But illness, persistent symptoms, or new symptoms developing after a six-week period is something that people might think, ‘Well, am I developing a long-term problem?'”
However, there are symptoms that need urgent attention, such as chest pain and shortness of breath. You also shouldn’t delay care if you have a headache, dizziness, fainting, or cognitive or stroke-like symptoms, Risbano says.
Research has linked COVID-19 to the development of pulmonary embolism, or a blockage in one of the arteries in the lungs, which can present with chest pain, shortness of breath, and a feeling of dizziness, light-headed, or fainting. A recent CDC report found that COVID-19 survivors are twice as likely to contract the life-threatening disease.
“And if that’s the case, then that needs to be addressed. Often these patients require hospitalization and blood-thinning medication. It would be very important to identify that. [rápidamente]says Risbano.
Some other symptoms that may require a more immediate appointment: “Now if someone suddenly feels anxious, depressed, or [experimentando] post-traumatic stress due to COVID-19,” says Dr. Tanjeev Kur, associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
2. Make an appointment with your family doctor
Curious about who to contact when it comes to longstanding COVID concerns? A good place to start is with your GP, preferably someone who knows your medical history and can help you determine if your symptoms are due to COVID-19 or something else.
This is especially true for older adults, who are more likely to have underlying health problems that could be causing new or worsening problems. About 85% of older adults have at least one chronic disease; about 60% have at least two, according to the CDC. And with the variety of symptoms of long-term COVID — from cardiovascular to cognitive problems — it’s easy to confuse what might be due to COVID and what might be due to another disease or health condition, Shaib says.
“It’s not clear how COVID-19 is causing the plethora of other problems,” Risbano adds. For example, heart palpitations and lung scarring could be directly related to COVID-19, “or not entirely related to COVID-19 infection.” He says that based on the symptoms, “a thorough evaluation is probably warranted” to pinpoint the problem.
3. Prepare for your date
When you first contact your doctor, it’s important to be prepared; This can make “all the difference” in getting the right evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment, the CDC says.
Before your appointment, be sure to write down when you first tested positive for COVID-19 and when the symptoms that are still bothering you began. Also, pay attention to how often these symptoms occur and what makes them worse.
One more thing: Think about how you were doing with your pre-COVID-19 daily activities — running errands, going to work, paying bills, hanging out with friends — and how you’re doing post-infection, Shab says. Finally, don’t forget to bring a list of all medications you’re taking, including over-the-counter medications and dietary supplements.
There is no standard test to identify prolonged COVID, but your doctor may order a variety of tests to make a diagnosis and rule out other conditions.