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Recognizing A COVID-19 ‘Long-Hauler’

3 min read

Post-Viral Symptoms Exist Post-COVID-19

By Gwenn Canlas | Published: October 4, 2020


On September 23, 2020, in a Senate hearing, Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the US federal government’s infectious diseases institute, acknowledged the long-term health effects of COVID-19. Dr. Fauci said even after you clear the virus, there are post-viral symptoms.

Several individuals, who virologically recovered from the infection, have persistent symptoms, weeks to months even after testing negative for the virus.


98 Lingering Signs

Ever since COVID-19 blew up in our faces and plagued our world, long-haulers report a wide variety of painful side effects from COVID-19. These long-lasting symptoms of the virus have been difficult to pinpoint—until now.

Dr. Natalie Lambert of Indiana University School of Medicine and Survivor Corps, a support group for long-haulers, conducted a survey and analyzed the long-term experiences COVID-19 survivors are having with the virus.

The COVID-19 “Long-Hauler” Symptoms Survey Report identified 98 long-lasting symptoms.

Here are the top14 of the 98 lingering symptoms with the figures of the number of people surveyed and reported to have the symptoms.


  1. Fatigue (1,567) was the most common lingering symptom of coronavirus. Lingering fatigue may be a sign that your body is still fighting the virus or is recovering from the fight.
  2. Muscle or Body Aches (1,048) when you have the flu because your immune system is revving up to fight infection. It’s not necessarily the virus that causes these aches but your body’s reaction to the virus invasion.
  3. Shortness of Breath or Difficulty Breathing (924) is when you feel like you can’t get enough air or your chest is tight. Patients with COVID-19 may feel shortness of breath without even moving since it’s a common symptom of the virus.
  4. Difficulty Concentrating or Focusing (924) is commonly referred to as “brain fog” and many patients express feeling this way while recovering from coronavirus.
  5. Inability to Exercise or Be Active (916). Some patients find it hard to exercise or be active, even if they were fit before contracting the virus. Researchers recommend that patients who suffered from severe cases of COVID-19 wait at least two weeks before resuming light exercise. This allows time for doctors to see if heart or lung conditions develop that could make it dangerous to engage in physical activity.
  6. Headache (902) may be due to dehydration, congestion, or other symptoms of coronavirus, such as a fever.
  7. Difficulty Sleeping (782). may be due to anxiety or worry about the virus or may be attributed to other lingering symptoms, such as muscle pain or cough.
  8. Anxiety (746). Between quarantining, social isolation and worry about developing a severe case of coronavirus, it’s no wonder anxiety is a lingering symptom for COVID-19 patients.
  9. Memory Problems (714). Since the virus affects the nervous system, memory problems may be a lingering side effect for some patients, especially those who suffered severe cases.
  10. Dizziness (656). Symptoms including headache, dizziness, vertigo, and paresthesia have been reported. This may be due to decreased oxygen levels, dehydration, fevers, or headaches also caused by the virus.
  11. Persistent Chest Pain or Pressure (609). Since coronavirus affects the lungs and respiratory system, this chest pain may be attributed to the virus still settling in the body. Sharp chest pains are referred to as pleurisy and may indicate that the lung walls are inflamed. Pleurisy may be a sign of pneumonia or another type of infection. Recovered COVID-19 patients should see a doctor if this symptom persists.
  12. Cough (577). As a respiratory virus, the cough associated with COVID-19 may take a long time to go away because your body is attempting to get rid of lingering mucus and phlegm.
  13. Joint Pain (566). When your immune system attempts to fight off COVID-19 or any type of illness, white blood cells produce interleukins to help join the fight. While these interleukins are useful in fighting off the virus cells, they also cause muscle and joint pain. The immune response may still be heightened in these recovering patients, causing this joint pain to last
  14. Heart Palpitations (509). Some patients who have recovered from COVID-19 may experience heart palpitations. Ongoing heart issues, such as palpitations, maybe long-lasting for COVID-19 patients, regardless of their illness severity.

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