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Long COVID isn't Just a Serious Medical Condition

"It is also a long-term financial crisis for millions of Americans."

What is Long COVID?

In April 2020, shortly after the beginning of the pandemic, anecdotal reports from patients emerged that previously healthy individuals were experiencing lingering symptoms and were not fully recovering from an infection with SARS-CoV-2.

 

These patients referred to themselves as “Long Haulers,” and they coined the term “Long COVID.” This early recognition by the patient community, and their efforts to organize, colloquially name the condition, and alert the world to study it, galvanized the scientific community to pursue research programs in this area, which in a short period of time have resulted in substantial conceptual advances and significant breakthroughs.

What Does This Mean for Me & My Family?

It means that you may have Long COVID, if:

 

1. You have or had COVID-19; and,

2. You are experiencing any of these symptoms (the CDC has identified over 200 symptoms of Long Covid):

General symptoms

Tiredness or fatigue that interferes with daily life

Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental effort (also known as “post-exertional malaise”).

Respiratory and heart symptoms

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

  • Cough

  • Chest pain

  • Fast-beating or pounding heart (also known as heart palpitations)

 

Neurological symptoms

  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as “brain fog”)

  • Headache

  • Sleep problems

  • Dizziness when you stand up (lightheadedness)

  • Pins-and-needles feelings

  • Change in smell or taste

  • Depression or anxiety

Digestive symptoms

  • Diarrhea

  • Stomach pain

Other symptoms

  • Joint or muscle pain

  • Rash

  • Changes in menstrual cycles

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Fortunately Republican and Democratic Legislators, and the President, Have Instructed All Federal Agencies to Assist Deserving Americans, Like You, Who cannot Work Because of Long COVID

Post-COVID Conditions

  • Post-COVID conditions describe a range of new, returning, or ongoing health issues that persist four or more weeks after a person is first infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, sometimes after initial symptom recovery.

  • New or ongoing symptoms can occur in people who had varying degrees of illness during acute infection, including patients who had mild or asymptomatic infections.

  • Medical and research communities are still learning about post-acute symptoms and clinical findings.

Read The Official White House Statement About Long COVID and It's Impact on Hard Working Americans Like You

 

FACT SHEET: The Biden Administration Accelerates Whole-of-Government Effort to Prevent, Detect, and Treat Long COVID

APRIL 05, 2022

 

STATEMENTS AND RELEASES

The U.S. has made tremendous progress in our fight against COVID-19. Today, Americans have the tools they need to protect against and treat the virus. At the same time, millions of individuals continue to experience prolonged illness from COVID-19, known as “Long COVID.”

 

Many report debilitating, lasting symptoms that can persist long after the acute COVID-19 infection has resolved, and can manifest in anyone who has had COVID-19. These symptoms often look like those associated with other chronic medical conditions.

 

The Administration has mobilized to advance our nation’s understanding of Long COVID and its associated conditions, promote high-quality care for patients, and help individuals access supportive services—especially for those from communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

 

The President’s National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan makes clear that we are committed to accelerating these efforts, with additional support and resources from Congress.

 

Today, President Biden issued a Presidential Memorandum directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to coordinate a new effort across the federal government to develop and issue the first-ever interagency national research action plan on Long COVID. The effort will advance progress in prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and provision of services, supports, and interventions for individuals experiencing Long COVID and associated conditions. The Presidential Memorandum also directs HHS to issue a report outlining services and supports across federal agencies to assist people experiencing Long COVID, individuals who are dealing with a COVID-related loss, and people who are experiencing mental health and substance use issues related to the pandemic. This report will specifically address the long-term effects of COVID-19 on high-risk communities and efforts to address disparities in access to services and supports.

Today’s announcement builds on the Administration’s ongoing work to implement the recommendations of the Presidential COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force. It also builds on a number of additional actions the Administration is taking to support the millions of Americans experiencing Long COVID and their families by delivering high-quality care and expanding access to services and supports, as well as actions to advance efforts to detect, prevent, and treat Long COVID.

These actions include:

Delivering high-quality care for individuals experiencing Long COVID: As a complex condition that can affect multiple organ systems, Long COVID may require care and coordination across multiple medical specialties. The Administration recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in new members of the disability community and has had a tremendous impact on people with disabilities. The Administration will continue to center the voices of patients in this work and is advancing efforts to deliver high-quality, high-value care to people experiencing Long COVID—especially communities hardest-hit by COVID-19. In collaboration with patients, payers, and providers across the care continuum, the Administration will accelerate and disseminate clinical support and best practices to promote coordinated, integrated care models and expand access to high-quality care in communities across the country.

  • Launching Centers of Excellence and promoting evidence-based care models: Through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the President’s Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) budget will invest in a multi-year initiative, beginning with $20 million in FY23, to investigate how health care systems can best organize and deliver care for people with Long COVID, provide telementoring and expert consultation for primary care practices, and advance the development of multispecialty clinics to provide complex care. This work would fund institutions across the country that bring together leading researchers and care providers across the full care continuum – including hospitals, health centers, long-term care services and supports, and other providers – and promote the implementation of new evidence into care, especially for disproportionately affected populations. As information emerges on effective Long COVID treatments and care, AHRQ in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and National Institutes of Health (NIH)—in collaboration with clinical leaders, professional societies, and the national academies—will build on existing interim clinical guidance to get providers and patients the care information they need.

  • Expanding and strengthening Long COVID clinics: Across the country, 18 Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities have already established Long COVID care programs, consolidating multidisciplinary clinical expertise in locations veterans know and trust. The VA will expand on the success of these programs by establishing additional Long COVID programs and robust referral and follow-up systems across its facilities. These programs, and others established by hospitals and health systems across the country, are serving as a source of rapid learning and long-term research on best practices and new therapies, along with the broader provider, patient, and scientific community. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) will launch the Health+ project to gain insights into the experiences and patient journeys of people living with Long COVID and associated conditions, to help inform high-quality care and contribute to standardized best practices at Long COVID clinics.

  • Promoting provider education and clinical support: The Administration will continue to work with providers to advance our recognition and understanding of Long COVID and associated conditions, including by sharing culturally competent information and resources through platforms like the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicare Learning Network and Indian Health Service (IHS) provider education and partnerships with academic institutions. The Administration will also launch targeted clinician and medical coder education on the ICD-10-CM code (U09.9) effective last year to support diagnosis, billing, and tracking of Long COVID. To further support equitable access to high-quality care in communities hard-hit by the pandemic, the Administration, through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), will continue to build sustainable telementoring programs and networks in rural and medically underserved communities. HHS will additionally convene experts across the country to provide recommendations to our nation’s providers on best practices in the identification and management of the mental and behavioral health disorders associated with Long COVID.  

  • Bolstering health insurance coverage for Long COVID care: The Administration is working to make Long COVID care as accessible as possible. CMS has clarified that, under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) requirement that state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) programs cover treatments for COVID-19, states must also cover treatments and therapies for Long COVID. Additionally, the essential health benefits (EHB) provided by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) generally provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19, including Long COVID, though coverage and cost-sharing details vary by plan. CMS has also expanded Medicare coverage for pulmonary rehabilitation services for Long COVID care beginning in the 2022 Physician Fee Schedule. Moving forward, the Administration will continue to assess opportunities to enhance access to care for Long COVID and its associated symptoms through Medicare, Medicaid, insurance marketplace coverage, and other options. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will also increase awareness of Long COVID among Federal Employee Health Benefit (FEHB) Program carriers—serving over 8.2 million federal employees, retirees, and their families—and call on them to closely monitor care for individuals with Long COVID. OPM will additionally enhance enrollee education on plans’ coverage of the assessment and treatment of Long COVID and associated symptoms such as respiratory illness and chronic fatigue.

Making services and supports available for individuals experiencing Long COVID: The Administration continues to work to understand Long COVID and its impact across populations, including how it interacts with other medical and physical conditions. Individuals with Long COVID may need help doing things they did by themselves in the past, or may need accommodations in their daily activities based on changes in their abilities. In addition to the Long COVID guidance package released during the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Administration is raising awareness of Long COVID as a potential cause of disability, and strengthening services and supports available for individuals experiencing Long COVID.

  • Raising awareness of Long COVID as a potential cause of disability: To protect individuals with Long COVID from discrimination, HHS and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have released guidance explaining that some individuals with Long COVID may have a disability under civil rights laws, including the ADA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. The Department of Education (ED) also released a resource to support children, students, educators, schools, service providers, and families—providing information about Long COVID as a disability and about schools’ and public agencies’ responsibilities for the provision of services and reasonable modifications to children and students for whom Long COVID is a cause of a disability. The Administration for Community Living (ACL) and the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) are continuing to disseminate resources to help people with Long COVID understand if they have a disability, educate people on their rights, and to inform organizations of their obligations.

  • Translating research into inclusive disability policy: Through the Social Security Administration’s close collaboration with research agencies and other entities, the Administration will continue to clarify and update policy guidance as the science develops to support inclusive disability policy and claims adjudication processes through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) programs for individuals experiencing Long COVID. This includes building on its Emergency Message on Evaluating Cases with COVID-19 and continuing to be responsive to findings from the medical and scientific communities about the types of evidence that can help establish impairments and identify functional limitations linked to Long COVID, when appropriate. Additionally, ACL and the Department of Labor (DOL) continue to elevate experiences of individuals with disability due to Long COVID, including on return-to-work.

  • Connecting people with the resources they need: The Administration will help connect people with Long COVID to information, resources, and service and support options. This includes incorporating multilingual information and support into the CDC-INFO call centerDisability Information and Access Line (DIAL), and call centers run by CMS—which together receive over 3 million calls each month—and providing Long COVID-specific trainings for customer service representatives. Through ACL’s DIAL and Eldercare Locator, the Administration will also continue to connect older adults and individuals with disabilities to critical local services, such as transportation to receive care. IHS will additionally train business office and benefit administrator staff to assist Tribal communities in navigating Long COVID. SAMHSA will additionally collaborate with stakeholders to advance our understanding of the mental health effects of COVID-19 and promote high-quality mental and behavioral health care services for those who need it.

  • Strengthening support for workers experiencing Long COVID: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and DOL recently released guidance on access to equitable employment opportunities for people experiencing the impact of COVID-19 and the symptoms of Long COVID. To protect workers experiencing Long COVID, DOL, in coordination with the EEOC, will continue supporting enforcement of the ADA, and other federal disability related nondiscrimination requirements for all workers. DOL’s Job Accommodation Network (JAN) also helps individuals with Long COVID remain in or return to their jobs. This includes both resources to empower workers to request and negotiate accommodations, as well as resources for employers on effective accommodation strategies. Additionally, through the legal networks funded by ACL, the Administration will continue to support legal assistance related to Long COVID to older adults and people with disabilities.

Advancing the nation’s understanding of Long COVID: Robust data and information are essential to our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and its long-term effects. The Administration will support and accelerate research to understand, prevent, diagnose, treat, advance non-discrimination for, and otherwise support individuals with Long COVID. This includes efforts to better identify and characterize Long COVID – including with respect to its frequency, severity, duration, and risk factors; account for its impact on hard-hit and high-risk populations; and better understand its symptoms—including anxiety and depression, fatigue, shortness of breath, difficulty concentrating, heart palpitations, disordered sleep, chest and joint pain, and headache. These symptoms may look like those associated with other chronic medical conditions—including dysautonomia, myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), and mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS). In collaboration with patients, academia, providers, and other stakeholders, the Administration will continue to take critical steps to advance our scientific understanding in order to prevent, detect, and treat Long COVID.

  • Launching the first-ever National Research Action Plan on Long COVID: Today, President Biden issued a Presidential Memorandum directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to coordinate a new effort across the federal government to develop and issue the first-ever interagency national research action plan on Long COVID. The effort will advance progress in prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and provision of services, supports, and interventions for individuals experiencing Long COVID. This effort, building on the landmark Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery (RECOVER) Initiative and other initiatives across the federal government, will advance our understanding of Long COVID, foster the development of new treatments and care models, and inform services, support, and interventions for individuals experiencing Long COVID.

  • Accelerating enrollment into the RECOVER Initiative: Last year, the NIH launched its $1.15 billion RECOVER Initiative to advance our understanding of and ability to predict, treat, and prevent Long COVID. To help catalyze progress, the Administration will accelerate the enrollment of approximately 40,000 individuals with and without Long COVID into RECOVER’s longitudinal observational arm—in addition to advancing RECOVER’s pathobiology studies, EHR studies, and clinical trials. Equity remains at the center of the Administration’s COVID-19 response efforts, and RECOVER will focus on enrolling individuals across all ages, races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic statuses—including pregnant people, individuals with disabilities, and those from the communities hardest hit by the pandemic. RECOVER will also continue to bolster its patient-centered approach, leveraging its National Community Engagement Group—comprised of patient representatives across its pathobiology task forces and executive, steering, and oversight committees—to enable patients to shape research design and execution, listen for community feedback, and learn from patients’ first-hand experience.

  • Making further investments to advance Long COVID research and surveillance: Building on the $50 million CDC has already invested, the President’s FY23 budget has requested $25 million to answer key questions on the characteristics, risk factors, underlying mechanisms, and health impacts of Long COVID—through clinician engagement, electronic health data analyses, and grant funding. This includes through the Innovative Support for Patients with SARS-CoV-2 Infections Registry (INSPIRE) study by CDC, which will follow nearly 6,000 individuals nationwide for up to 18 months, and other dedicated research in Tribal and other hard-hit, high-risk communities.

  • Leveraging the power of federal data: With its robust, national health care databases, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a wealth of information on the risks and burdens of COVID-19. Using data from over 600,000 individuals with COVID-19, the VA will continue advancing its work to assess the different health impacts of COVID-19 over time. This includes building on its already published analyses relying on EHR data on kidneycardiovascular, and mental health outcomes in people who have gotten COVID-19, through a national study surveying infected Veterans and uninfected controls about persistent symptoms. Additionally, the Department of Defense (DOD) has launched the Epidemiology, Immunology, and Clinical Characteristics of Emerging Infectious Diseases with Pandemic Potential (EPICC) study of Military Health System beneficiaries to help determine effects of COVID-19 and define clinical strategies to address them. This foundational study will not only support our military medical readiness but also our broader understanding of the disease.

  • Identifying workplace interventions that help keep individuals connected: To inform the development of inclusive disability policies and benefits, the DOL is scaling its work to identify early intervention strategies for workers who experience injuries or illnesses, including Long COVID, when working. DOL is expanding beyond its initial pilot study—to Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio, and Vermont—to help workers find alternatives as they decide whether to stay at or return to work following an illness like Long COVID.

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President Biden's Official Memorandum on Addressing the Long-Term Effects of COVID-⁠19

APRIL 05, 2022•PRESIDENTIAL ACTIONS

 

MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES

SUBJECT:      Addressing the Long-Term Effects of COVID-19 

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1.  Policy.  My Administration has made combating the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and guiding the Nation through the worst public health crisis in more than a century, our top priority.  When I came into office, COVID-19 was wreaking havoc on our country — closing our businesses, keeping our kids out of school, and forcing us into isolation.  Today, America has the tools to protect against COVID-19 and to dramatically decrease its risks.  We move towards a future in which COVID-19 does not disrupt our daily lives and is something we prevent, protect against, and treat.

As we chart the path forward, we remember the more than 950,000 people in the United States lost to COVID-19.  They were beloved parents, grandparents, children, siblings, spouses, neighbors, and friends.  More than 200,000 children in the United States have lost a parent or caregiver to the disease.  Each soul is irreplaceable, and the families and communities left behind are still reeling from profound loss.  Many families and communities have already received support from Federal programs that help with the loss they have experienced.  As we move forward, we commit to ensuring that families and communities can access these support programs and connect to resources they may need to help with their healing, health, and well-being.

At the same time, many of our family members, neighbors, and friends continue to experience negative long-term effects of COVID-19.  Many individuals report debilitating, long-lasting effects of having been infected with COVID-19, often called “long COVID.”  These symptoms can happen to anyone who has had COVID-19 — including individuals across ages, races, genders, and ethnicities; individuals with or without disabilities; individuals with or without underlying health conditions; and individuals whether or not they had initial symptoms.  Individuals experiencing long COVID report experiencing new or recurrent symptoms, which can include anxiety and depression, fatigue, shortness of breath, difficulty concentrating, heart palpitations, disordered sleep, chest and joint pain, headaches, and other symptoms.  These symptoms can persist long after the acute COVID-19 infection has resolved.  Even young people and otherwise healthy people have reported long COVID symptoms that last for many months.  These symptoms may be affecting individuals’ ability to work, conduct daily activities, engage in educational activities, and participate in their communities.  Our world-class research and public health organizations have begun the difficult work of understanding these new conditions, their causes, and potential prevention and treatment options.  Our health care and support programs are working to help meet the needs of individuals experiencing the lasting effects of COVID-19.  To organize the Federal Government’s response, executive departments and agencies (agencies) must work together to use the expertise, resources, and benefit programs of the Federal Government to ensure that we are accelerating scientific progress and providing individuals with the support and services they need.

In addition, the American public is grappling with a mental health crisis exacerbated by the pandemic. Too many have felt the effects of social isolation, sickness, economic insecurity, increased caregiver burdens, and grief.  My Administration has made significant investments in mental health as well as substance use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery support for the American public, including by expanding access to community-based behavioral health services.  We are committed to advancing these behavioral health efforts in order to better identify the effects of the pandemic on mental health, substance use, and well-being, and to take steps to address these effects for the people we serve.

Our Nation can continue to protect the public — and spare countless families from the deepest pain imaginable — if everybody does their part.  Today, we have numerous tools to protect ourselves and our loved ones from COVID-19 — from vaccines to tests, treatments, masks, and more.  My Administration recognizes the toll of this pandemic on the American public and commits to redoubling our efforts to support the American people in addressing the long-term effects of COVID-19 on their lives and on society.

Sec. 2.  Organizing the Government-Wide Response to the Long-Term Effects of COVID-19.  (a)  The Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary) shall coordinate the Government-wide response to the long-term effects of COVID-19.  My Administration will harness the full potential of the Federal Government, in coordination with public- and private-sector partners, to mount a full and effective response.  The Secretary shall report on the coordination efforts to the Coordinator of the COVID-19 Response and Counselor to the President and to the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy.

    (b)  The heads of agencies shall assist and provide information to the Secretary, consistent with applicable law, as may be necessary to carry out the Secretary’s duties described in subsection (a) of this section.

    (c)  In performing the duties described in subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary shall seek information from relevant nongovernmental experts, organizations, and stakeholders, including individuals affected directly by the long-term effects of COVID-19.  The Secretary shall consider using all available legal authorities, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, to assist in gathering relevant information, including a waiver under 42 U.S.C. 247d(f).

Sec. 3.  Report on the Long-Term Effects of COVID-19.  The Secretary, supported within the Department of Health and Human Services by the Assistant Secretary for Health and the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, shall publish a public report within 120 days of the date of this memorandum outlining services and mechanisms of support across agencies to assist the American public in the face of the far-reaching and long-term effects of COVID-19.  The report shall outline Federal Government services to support individuals experiencing long COVID, individuals and families experiencing a loss due to COVID-19, and all those grappling with mental health and substance use issues in the wake of this pandemic.  The report shall also specifically address the long-term effects of COVID-19 on underserved communities and efforts to address disparities in availability and adoption of services and support for such communities.

Sec. 4.  National Research Action Plan on Long COVID.  (a)  Coordinated efforts across the public and private sectors are needed to advance progress in prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and provision of services for individuals experiencing long COVID.  The Secretary, supported by the Assistant Secretary for Health and in collaboration with the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Energy, and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, shall coordinate a Government-wide effort to develop the first-ever interagency national research agenda on long COVID, to be reflected in a National Research Action Plan.  The National Research Action Plan will build on ongoing efforts across the Federal Government, including the landmark RECOVER Initiative implemented by the National Institutes of Health.  The Secretary shall release the jointly developed National Research Action Plan within 120 days of the date of this memorandum.

    (b)  The National Research Action Plan shall build upon existing research efforts and include strategies to:

         (i)     help measure and characterize long COVID in both children and adults, including with respect to its frequency, severity, duration, risk factors, and trends over time;

         (ii)    support the development of estimates on prevalence and incidence of long COVID disaggregated by demographic groups and symptoms;

         (iii)   better understand the epidemiology, course of illness, risk factors, and vaccine effectiveness in prevention of long COVID;

         (iv)    advance our understanding of the health and socioeconomic burdens on individuals affected by long COVID, including among different race and ethnicity groups, pregnant people, and those with underlying disabilities;

         (v)     foster development of new treatments and care models for long COVID based on a better understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms of the SARS-CoV-2 virus;

         (vi)    inform decisions related to high-quality support, services, and interventions for long COVID;

         (vii)   improve data-sharing between agencies and academic and industry researchers about long COVID, to the extent permitted by law; and

         (viii)  specifically account for the pandemic’s effect on underserved communities and rural populations.

Sec. 5.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

         (i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

         (ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

    (b)  This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

    (c)  This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

    (d)  The Secretary is authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.
 

JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

See, https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2022/04/05/memorandum-on-addressing-the-long-term-effects-of-covid-19/?utm_source=link

What are Long COVID and Post-COVID Conditions?

Post-COVID conditions are a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems that people experience after being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. Most people with COVID-19 get better within a few days to a few weeks after infection, so at least four weeks after infection is the start of when post-COVID conditions could first be identified. Anyone who was infected can experience post-COVID conditions. Most people with post-COVID conditions experienced symptoms days after first learning they  had COVID-19, but some people who later experienced post-COVID conditions did not know when they got infected.

There is no test to diagnose post-COVID conditions, and people may have a wide variety of symptoms that could come from other health problems. This can make it difficult for healthcare providers to recognize post-COVID conditions. Your healthcare provider considers a diagnosis of post-COVID conditions based on your health history, including if you had a diagnosis of COVID-19 either by a positive test or by symptoms or exposure, as well as doing a health examination.

Critical care physicians across the United States are only now understanding the long-term, life altering impact of COVID-19.

If you or a loved one have tested positive for COVID-19, and you continue to suffer from any of the following symptoms, it is possible that you have Long Covid

General symptoms

  • Tiredness or fatigue that interferes with daily life

  • Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental effort (also known as “post-exertional malaise”)

  • Fever

Respiratory and heart symptoms

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

  • Cough

  • Chest pain

  • Fast-beating or pounding heart (also known as heart palpitations)

Neurological symptoms

  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as “brain fog”)

  • Headache

  • Sleep problems

  • Dizziness when you stand up (lightheadedness)

  • Pins-and-needles feelings

  • Change in smell or taste

  • Depression or anxiety

Digestive symptoms

  • Diarrhea

  • Stomach pain

Other symptoms

  • Joint or muscle pain

  • Rash

  • Changes in menstrual cycles

The Centers for Disease Control ("CDC") defines Post-COVID Conditions as follows:

Some people who have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 can experience long-term effects from their infection, known as post-COVID conditions (PCC) or long COVID.

People call post-COVID conditions by many names, including: long COVID, long-haul COVID, post-acute COVID-19, post-acute sequelae of SARS CoV-2 infection (PASC), long-term effects of COVID, and chronic COVID.

What You Need to Know

  • Post-COVID conditions can include a wide range of ongoing health problems; these conditions can last weeks, months, or longer.

  • Post-COVID conditions are found more often in people who had severe COVID-19 illness, but anyone who has been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 can experience post-COVID conditions, even people who had mild illness or no symptoms from COVID-19.

  • People who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 and become infected might also be at higher risk of developing post-COVID conditions compared to people who were vaccinated and had breakthrough infections.

  • While most people with post-COVID conditions have evidence of infection or COVID-19 illness, in some cases, a person with post-COVID conditions may not have tested positive for the virus or known they were infected.

  • CDC and partners are working to understand more about who experiences post-COVID conditions and why, including whether groups disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 are at higher risk.

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