Types of post-COVID conditions
New or ongoing symptoms
Some people have a range of new or persistent symptoms that can last for weeks or months after being first infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. Unlike some of the other types of post-COVID conditions which tend to only occur in people who have had serious illness, these symptoms can happen to anyone who has had COVID-19, even if the illness was mild, or if there had been no onset of symptoms. People generally report experiencing different combinations of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Weariness or fatigue
- Symptoms that worsen after physical or mental activities (also known as post-exercise discomfort)
- Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes called “brain fog”)
- Pain in the chest or stomach
- Heart pounding or pounding rapidly (also known as heart palpitations)
- Joint or muscle pain
- Needles and pins feeling
- Sleep problems
- Vertigo when standing (dizziness)
- Mood swings
- Change in smell or taste
- Changes in menstrual cycles
Multi-organ effects of COVID-19
Some people who have had severe illness with COVID-19 suffer from multi-organ effects or autoimmune diseases over a longer period of time with symptoms lasting weeks or months after COVID-19 illness. Multi-organ effects can affect many, if not all, body systems, including heart, lung, kidney, skin, and brain functions. Autoimmune diseases occur when your immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells in your body, causing inflammation (swelling) or tissue damage in affected parts of the body.
Although it is very rare, some people, mainly children, suffer from multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS) during or immediately after infection with COVID-19. MIS is a condition where different parts of the body can become inflamed. MIS can lead to post-COVID conditions if a person continues to experience multi-organ effects or other symptoms.
Effects of COVID-19 illness or hospitalization
Hospitalizations and serious illnesses from lung disease, including COVID-19, can have health effects like severe weakness and exhaustion during the recovery period.
The effects of hospitalization can also include post-intensive care syndrome (SPIC), which refers to the health effects that begin when a person is in an intensive care unit (ICU) and can persist afterward. return of a person home. These effects can include severe weakness, problems with thinking and judgment, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD involves long term reactions to a very stressful event.
Some symptoms that can occur after hospitalization are similar to some of the symptoms that people with initially mild or no symptoms may experience several weeks after COVID-19. It can be difficult to know if they are caused by the effects of hospitalization, the long-term effects of the virus, or a combination of the two. These conditions could also be complicated by other effects related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the mental health effects of isolation, negative economic situations and lack of access to health care to manage the conditions. underlying. These factors have affected both people who have experienced COVID-19 and those who have not.