Long covid – what does it mean, how long is the patient infected?

Long covid - what does it mean, how long does the patient infect?

Long covid or long covid is long-lasting pocovid symptoms, such as fatigue, hair loss, difficulty concentrating, coughing, pain behind the sternum. A patient with long covid no longer infects the coronavirus, but may struggle with long covid symptoms for up to six months.

What is long covid?

Persistent post-covid syndrome, or long covid or long covid, is new, recurring or ongoing health problems in people who have been infected with the Sars-Cov-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. Most covid patients recover within days or weeks, but long covid can be diagnosed at least four weeks after infection. It can affect those who have had the disease severely, as well as those who have had no symptoms at all. A patient with long covid does not contract the Sars-Cov-2 virus.

Long covid – risk of occurrence

People who have not been vaccinated for COVID-19 are more likely to develop long covid after infection than those who have received the vaccine. COVID-19 can be contracted multiple times, and there is a risk of long covid each time. The higher risk of long covid applies more to women and people with psychiatric problems.

Is there a test for long covid?

Currently, long covid is diagnosed based on patient-reported symptoms. There are no specialized tests that can unequivocally confirm that a patient is suffering from this condition. Only he or she can test for COVID-19, and if after a few weeks he or she observes alarming symptoms, then he or she can suggest to the doctor what is causing them. However, scientists are in the process of developing a blood test that will facilitate diagnosis for long covid.

What are the symptoms of long covid?

The symptoms of long covid are not specific and can involve basically all organs. The most commonly reported complaints are such as:

  • chronic fatigue,
  • weakness,
  • hair loss,
  • tinnitus,
  • insomnia or excessive sleepiness,
  • so-called covid fog and face blindness,
  • impaired concentration,
  • muscle and joint pain,
  • weakened condition,
  • skin changes,
  • chronic cough,
  • retrosternal pains,
  • anxiety,
  • blood pressure disorders,
  • bacterial flora disorders,
  • weight disorders,
  • olfactory disorders,
  • weakened immunity,
  • recurrent infections,
  • conjunctivitis,
  • development of serious diseases: diabetes, thrombosis, psoriasis, pulmonary fibrosis or depression.

Most symptoms can persist for up to six months after covida. Unfortunately, there is still not enough knowledge about the disease. Often symptoms are attributed to other conditions than post covid.

Covid fog and face blindness

Some of the more characteristic symptoms of long covid are covid fog and facial blindness. Covid fog (a.k.a. brain fog) refers to cognitive memory problems. It is also associated with severe concentration disorders, impaired consciousness or communication problems. Recent studies have shown that people suffering from long covid in addition to fog may also experience face blindness. It involves the inability to recognize the faces of not only acquaintances, but also family members. This is further evidence of how much the Sars-Cov-2 virus affects the nervous system and cognitive function.

Long covid in children

Children may develop PIMS-TS (from Paediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome Temporally Associated with SARS-CoV-2) – Paediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome Temporally Associated with SARS-CoV-2 – as a result of long covid. This is an abnormal reaction of the child’s body to infection with coronavirus. It usually occurs around 2-4 weeks after the illness. It is characterized by high fever (above 38oC), conjunctivitis, raspberry tongue, diarrhea, vomiting, rash, swelling of the lower and upper extremities, apathy. In extreme cases, myocarditis can occur. Treatment of PIMS-TS should take place in the hospital. Both pharmacological (mainly steroid drugs) and biological and immunological treatments are used.

Read: PIMS – pocovid syndrome in children

How to prevent long covid?

First of all, it is necessary to avoid Sars-Cov-2 infection, which involves:

  • avoiding large concentrations of people,
  • wearing a protective mask,
  • vaccination against COVID-19,
  • washing and disinfecting hands,
  • avoiding contact with sick people.

How to treat long covid?

Currently, symptomatic treatment can be used. This means that with the help of various pharmacological agents, treatments, and often home remedies, we get rid of the symptoms that accompany long covid. For example, in the case of a cough, we use either expectorants or antitussives depending on the type of cough. For hair loss, supplementation with preparations with biotin, field horsetail or nettle works best.

Many covid patients have smell and taste disorders. Such ailments are not easy to deal with, but studies show the effectiveness of so-called olfactory training, which involves daily stimulation of the sense of smell with specific odors. Natural essential oils such as clove, lemon, eucalyptus and rose are used for this.

For more serious symptoms, especially those involving the development of any additional diseases, it is important to see a specialist. It is also very important to take care of mental health. Sometimes visits to a physiotherapist are useful. Sometimes patients with advanced lung damage require oxygen therapy.


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