Five Things to Know About Long Haul Covid

Not a day goes by that COVID-19 isn’t in the news, for good reason. As more people catch this virus, more doctors get practice treating it and more labs have the chance to study it. We’re able to learn more and more about what it does to the body, how to prevent people from catching it, and how to help those who are suffering from symptoms.

One of the scariest discoveries among those studying the coronavirus is long haul COVID. Whether you have had COVID-19 or not, there are five things you should know about these symptoms:

  • You could get Federal support
  • Symptoms can persist for a year or more
  • You don’t have to be hospitalized to get long haul COVID
  • Getting vaccinated could help symptoms
  • New treatments are on the way

You Could Get Federal Support

One thing COVID patients may not think about is whether their condition is covered, but it’s front of mind for many long haulers. As a new illness, you may not be covered by your insurance. That can add up to tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket, especially if you’re dealing with symptoms in the long-term.

That’s not all. Many long haulers find it impossible to work, which is why it’s so important that the Federal government is stepping in to provide coverage for those experiencing long-term symptoms. On July 6, 2021, the Biden administration announced it would take the necessary steps to legally support and protect COVID long haulers. The key is that COVID-19 long haul symptoms are being classified as a disability, which means long haulers will receive the same support those with currently recognized disabilities receive.

Symptoms Can Persist For a Year or More

Regular COVID will only last for one to two weeks. Long haul COVID is different. You shouldn’t be surprised if your symptoms last a year or more.

In one study, nearly half of the patients still had at least one COVID symptom 12 months after their symptoms began. Fatigue and muscle weakness were the most common symptoms to persist, with women more likely to experience these symptoms.

You Don’t Have to Be Hospitalized to Get Long Haul COVID

It’s true that many patients who were hospitalized experience long haul COVID symptoms, but don’t think you have to be hospitalized to experience problems.

We’re learning about COVID complications all the time, and one that is getting attention is the fact that 50 percent of long haulers showed a decline in kidney function. What was alarming is the fact that this decline in kidney function is also being seen among those who weren’t hospitalized.

However, it is important to note that this doesn’t occur in every single person who gets COVID. It’s more likely to occur in people who have other medical issues, who are older, or who are more frail.

Getting Vaccinated Could Help Symptoms

We all know that getting vaccinated is the best way to keep from getting COVID-19 in the first place, but it turns out that getting the vaccination after the fact has the potential to help those who are suffering from long haul COVID.

In one support group for long haulers, members who received the vaccine say that it has helped their symptoms. However, it’s too soon to know if this is truly an effective treatment or not. Some patients report feeling worse after getting the shot, so more research is definitely needed.

New Treatments Are on the Way

The bad news is that tested, timeworn treatments for long haul COVID aren’t here yet. Doctors don’t yet agree on the best course of action, but that doesn’t mean new treatments aren’t being developed!

In addition to the possibility of vaccinations being one way to treat long haul COVID symptoms, some doctors are testing out other possible treatments. For example, one doctor is trying hyperbaric treatments with patients who have long-haul symptoms with some success, while other doctors are studying the effects of certain medications on the symptoms associated with long haul COVID.

Getting COVID-19 can be scary. You don’t know if you’ll experience minor symptoms and bounce back right away or if you’ll experience more severe symptoms that linger for months. Being informed is the first step to making sure COVID-19 doesn’t rule your life. Take the time to learn about COVID-19, which includes the impact of experiencing long haul symptoms, and you will be prepared should you or a loved one get this virus.

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