What is Long COVID and what are my options?
COVID-19, or the disease caused by the SARS CoV-2 virus, begins as an infectious disease initiated by this virus. This triggers an immune response by the body to deal with the viral infection and usually lasts for about 8-10 days. This is an inflammatory reaction that is normally discontinued when the initial infection has been controlled. In some cases, often following mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms, the inflammatory reaction continues in different ways to create a longer lasting disease which is known as Long COVID. (LC) Unfortunately, this could last for many months.
Symptoms of LC range from mild, such as malaise, fatigue and sleep disorders to debilitating, such as chest and joint pain, smell disorders and cognitive dysfunction (e.g. brain fog). The incidence of LC varies from a low of 10% for milder cases to a high of 85% for those hospitalized, although LC can not be predicted by initial disease severity. Mild to moderate COVID-19 cases including younger adults are often victims.
It is worth noting that LC symptoms may also appear in some people that have received vaccines. This is likely due to the stimulation of the immune system to produce antibodies by the vaccine which involves an inflammatory attack on the body’s cells that present the SARS CoV-2 spike protein.
Due to the wide range of severity and symptoms, treatment can be very complex and take considerable time. It is important, for this reason, that you work closely with your physician throughout the process. Note the disclaimer at the bottom of this page. We can not provide you with medical advice. We can only direct you to resources for more information.
1.) Keep a diary of your symptoms. This will not only be helpful to inform and educate your physician, but it will also give you a bench mark to monitor your progress.
2.) Treatment of LC will often involve drugs which your physician or health care provider will have to prescribe for you. It is important that you work as a team. A good start is to provide them with the most up to date treatment information and a recognition of your responsibility.
3.) Two of the most current and constantly updated LC therapy recommendations can be found at –
Our Canadian Covid Care Alliance website under ‘Departments’
Front Line Covid Critical Care website.
4.) You are not alone! Seek out LC support groups to share your experiences. You can help others as you help yourself.