BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — After your body recovers from the chills, the cough, the shortness of breath brought on by a battle with COVID, you’ll likely hope you’re out of the woods. You might be wrong.
“We are seeing also a considerable portion of patients and people, even after recovering from COVID, having what we call the post-COVID syndrome,” Adventist Health Bakersfield chief medical officer Dr. Ghassan Jamaleddine said.
Post-COVID syndrome. Long-Haulers Disease. Long COVID. All names for the same poorly-understood condition that can last for years after a COVID infection.
“Long COVID essentially refers to the persistence of symptoms greater than four weeks after the diagnosis is made,” local pediatrician Dr. Nimisha Amin said.
Those with the condition describe many and vast symptoms, from fogginess and fatigue to trouble breathing to joint and body pain. Because it’s such a new phenomenon, long COVID’s causes, as well as just how common it is in the infected, are essentially unknown.
Amin focuses on children, and she says studies vary wildly on just how many kids are affected post-infection.
“Some say five to 15 percent. Others say 0.5 to two percent,” Amin said. “But again, when you look at the millions and millions of children who are being infected, and you look at two percent of those children, that’s a lot.”
But there is one preventative step people can take.
“It’s taking away from the vibrance of their life, and it’s something that we now know we can prevent with vaccination,” Amin said.
Although research is in early stages, multiple studies suggest fully vaccinated people who develop breakthrough infections are less likely to suffer symptoms of long COVID.