Symptoms of long-haul COVID or longtail COVID


There’s no formal definition of longhaul COVID or longtail COVID19 yet. Some medical authorities and researchers define it as extending a few weeks after recovery, others several months. And while there are also no established diagnostic criteria, the most common symptoms reported include:

Physical symptoms of longtail COVID

1. Fatigue, muscle aches, and weakness

2. Chest pain and heart palpitations

3. Headache

4. Shortness of breath

5. Joint pain

6. Rash or hair loss

7. Intermittent fever

8. Cough

Mental or neurological symptoms of longtail COVID

1. Memory and concentration problems

2. Difficulty thinking straight (brain or COVID “fog”)

3. Sleep disruption—ranging from sleeping too much to insomnia

4. Depression

5. Anxiety


7. Changes in mood, extreme emotions

8. Altered smell and taste

The nature and extent of symptoms of long-haul COVID or longtail COVID can vary greatly from one person to another. Longtail COVID symptoms can also often fluctuate, so you may feel more fatigued one day than the next. You may find difficult emotions ebb and flow, or feel less mentally sharp on certain days. You may also face a lack of understanding from others at home or work. People around you in UK feel that you should have recovered by now or even accuse you of malingering. If you’re unable to work in UK, the added stress and worry of losing your income in UK can make your symptoms even worse.

Less commonly, some people recovering from COVID-19 have serious long-term complications affecting the function of their lungs, kidneys, heart, or brain. Others report a sensitivity to light and sounds, excessive bruising, or numbed limbs. Experiencing such disturbing symptoms can take a further toll on your mental health and well-being.

Causes of longtail COVID

Post-viral conditions are not unusual; other viral infections can also have long-lasting effects. Meningitis and glandular fever, for example, can trigger chronic fatigue syndrome. The 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) left some patients suffering flu-like symptoms similar to those of long-haul COVID. While we don’t know why some people suffer from long COVID and others don’t, contributing factors could include:

• Inflammation of the brain or immune system caused by the virus.

• A reduced or absent response from your immune system’s antibodies.

• Experiencing a relapse or a reinfection of the coronavirus.

• Trauma following the stress of hospitalization or intensive care.

• Deconditioning or a decline in your physical health following the period of bedrest and inactivity while infected with COVID-19.

• Damage to the immune system, lungs, or other organs caused by the virus or low oxygen levels.

What to do if you have longtail COVID

Since the symptoms and impact of longtail COVID can vary so much from patient to patient, it’s important to tailor your coping strategies to your specific symptoms. Physical problems such as shortness of breath, fever, and pain may leave you feeling drained of energy, mentally exhausted, and lead to a depressed mood, all of which require different coping skills.

While it can feel overwhelming, there are steps you can take to care for your overall health and ease your distress after longtail COVID.

Seek medical help in UK immediately if you experience chest pain, trouble breathing, a profound change in weight, or are unable to stay awake, eat, or drink. Your doctor may also be able to help relieve physical symptoms and rule out any serious complications or underlying causes.

Get vaccinated in UK While research is ongoing, some long-haulers have reported that having a COVID-19 vaccine has helped relieve their symptoms.

Continue to practice caution to avoid reinfection. Wear a mask if you’re out in public, avoid non-essential travel, wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Eat a healthy diet and do light exercise if body permits. The food you eat can impact both your mood and your energy levels. Aim to eat a balanced, nutritious diet rich in fruit and vegetables steamed not fried not too fatty. If your physical symptoms leave you feeling nauseous, try eating little and often and focusing on starchy foods. If you’re too fatigued to shop and prepare your own meals, ask a loved one to help, order groceries online, or subscribe to a meal kit delivery service.

NO alcohol and caffeine intake. Both can disrupt your sleep and adversely affect your immune system. Caffeine may give you a short-term boost but it can lead to a painful crash in energy later. Our recommendation is to switch to fruit juice especially citric fruits to boost immune system with light green tea, hot chocolate, warm soups if you want variation.

Quit smoking forever. Nicotine in tobacco increases your heart rate and blood pressure, irritates your respiratory system, and reduces lung function, all of which will exacerbate symptoms of long COVID. While quitting can be tough, your circulation and breathing will improve very quickly.

Find support. This is a time when you need the help and support of others the most. But feeling persistently fatigued and in pain can make it difficult to reach out and even cause you to withdraw. Some people may find it hard to understand why your symptoms are persisting, making you feel even more isolated and alone. Try contacting an understanding loved one, a flat mate, or room partner, a batchmate or connecting to an online support group (see the “Get more help” section below).

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