When Symptoms Linger for Weeks, Is It Long Covid?

by | Apr 13, 2022 | Health

Many Americans are discovering that recovering from covid-19 may take weeks or even months longer than expected, leaving them with lingering symptoms like intense fatigue or a racing pulse. But does that mean they have what’s known as long covid?

Though such cases may not always amount to debilitating long covid, which can leave people bedridden or unable to perform daily functions, it is common to take weeks to fully recover.

“There could be more to help people understand that it’s not always a quick bounce back right away after the initial infection,” said Dr. Ben Abramoff, director of the Post-COVID Assessment and Recovery Clinic at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia. “This is still a very significant viral infection, and sometimes it’s just a more gradual recovery process than people’s previous viral illnesses.“

Recent federal health guidelines — which recommend only five days of isolation for those who test positive and are symptom-free — may inadvertently suggest most recoveries are, if not just five days long, pretty quick.

That’s the message I got, at least.

I’ve reported on the coronavirus pandemic since it started, and I thought I knew what an infection would be like for a young, otherwise healthy person like me. I knew even mild cases could develop into long covid. I thought they were relatively rare.

Like many Americans, I found myself slowed by a recovery that took more than a month — far longer than I had expected.

I got covid over Christmas. I was vaccinated and boosted, and my symptoms were mild: sore throat, sinus pressure and headache, extreme fatigue. I felt better after eight days, and I tested negative two days in a row on a rapid antigen test.

Soon a …

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