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Long COVID is a set of symptoms that persist or begin 4 weeks after COVID infection1. The symptoms can last weeks, months, or even years. The most common symptoms include fatigue, post-exertional malaise, body aches, heart rhythm abnormalities, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, headaches, sleep disturbances, abnormal nerve sensations, tinnitus, anxiety, depression, loss of smell or taste, fever, shortness of breath, cough, and stomach problems1,2. There are other names for long COVID, including PASC (post-acute sequelae of COVID-19).
Studies show that between 10-30% of people who are infected with COVID develop long COVID3. Vaccination provides some protection, reducing the chances of long COVID to 5-25%4,5. Scientists and doctors don’t yet know how much protection from long COVID may come from 3rd or 4th booster shots.
Even patients who don’t develop multiple long COVID symptoms are at high risk for other complications in the months following infection. The CDC found that 20% of adults aged 18-64 and 25% of adults over 65 infected with COVID are at risk of long term complications affecting the lungs, heart, blood vessels, muscles, joints, nervous system, and kidneys6.
This research summary was prepared by the Community Resilience Trust for informational purposes only. It is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.