The Dr.'s Say...
As the Worldwide Pandemic Lingers, Long COVID Remains a Serious Concern
As the numbers of individuals contracting the coronavirus continue to seesaw back and forth, one aspect of this terrible illness remains the unpleasant and long-lasting affliction known as long COVID.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most people with COVID-19 get better within weeks of illness. Still, others experience post-COVID conditions, which may add up to various symptoms people can participate in for as long as a month or perhaps much longer. Some of those symptoms include fatigue, problems with memory and thinking, loss of taste and smell, shortness of breath, insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Although some or all of these symptoms may first appear during the initial infection, some may linger or recur a month or more later. Or new ones may develop, lasting for weeks, months, or over a year.
Anyone young, old, or somewhere between may be afflicted with long COVID. Although post-COVID conditions appear to be less common in children and adolescents than in adults, long-term effects can occur in children and adolescents.
Research by the CDC shows that long COVID is more prevalent among those hospitalized, but it also strikes a significant portion who were not. Because so many symptoms occur with other illnesses, some scientists question whether the coronavirus is always the trigger. Researchers hope their work will provide definitive answers.
Experiencing post-COVID conditions can be confusing and frustrating, and a person who feels sick long-term may feel isolated. To determine the most helpful steps you can take for others, first listen with compassion and ask questions about their needs. The CDC has some good resources on its website at cdc.gov/coronavirus.
People who believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should immediately contact their health care provider. If you are an Eskenazi Health patient, please call 317.880.7666 before coming to your appointment. Health care professionals are available 24/7 to answer questions on symptoms and direct you to the most appropriate care.
Eskenazi Health Center Blackburn is located at 2700 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. and offers a medical home for families in the areas of internal and family medicine, pediatrics, adolescent care, family planning, dental care, and social services. The center is one of 11 Eskenazi Health Center primary care sites located throughout Indianapolis.
Submitted by Dr. Nydia Nunez-Estrada, M.D.
Family Medicine Specialist at Blackburn Eskenazi Health Center