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Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID, Says Dr. Fauci

“I am dealing and helping a number of people who have a post-acute COVID 19 syndrome,” he says.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek
Doctor Anthony Fauci

Coronavirus deaths are past 410,000 in America, and left uncounted are the thousands who have Long COVID, or what Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, calls "post-acute COVID 19 syndrome." The symptoms are "very severe months after they have technically recovered from the disease," MSNBC host Rachel Maddow said to him the other day. "They're still not able to work. People have long-term and very serious consequences." "This is a real phenomenon," Fauci added. "I, myself, presently, am dealing and helping a number of people who have a post acute COVID 19 syndrome—they are virologically okay. The virus is no longer identified in them, but they have a persistence of symptoms that can be debilitating." Read on to learn more about the symptoms to see if you have them—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus


Dr. Fauci Warned of Extreme Fatigue

Woman suffering from stomach cramps on the sofa at home.

Fauci told Maddow you might suffer "extreme fatigue" and has been mentioning this for a while now. "You don't want to be scaring people and alarming them, but they really should know that we don't know what the long-term consequences are, even when it looks like a routine infection," Dr. Fauci told Medscape in July. "We better be careful. Even after you clear the virus, there are postviral symptoms. I know, because I follow on the phone a lot of people who call me up and talk about their course. And it's extraordinary how many people have a postviral syndrome that's very strikingly similar to myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome. They just don't get back to normal energy or normal feeling of good health." One hallmark symptom of ME/CFS is post-exertional malaise, a crashing after exertion.


Dr. Fauci Warned of Muscle Aches

Side view of a frowned young man suffering from pain in loin while sitting on white bedding

Another key symptom of Long COVID—and myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome—is muscle aches and pains, or myalgia. These can present themselves anywhere—your torso, your back, your legs—and in some cases, like costochondritis, can feel like a heart attack (but isn't).


Dr. Fauci Warned of Temperature Dysregulation

Young man suffering from cold at his home

You may have "Temperature dysregulation," says Fauci, and World Neurology, from the World Federation of Neurology, mentions it, too. "Most of these patients were in excellent health prior to getting infected with SARS-CoV-2," they say. "They all had myriad symptoms during the acute phase; however, as the fever and respiratory symptoms improved, they are left with persistent systemic symptoms, some of which are gradually improving, but not all are following that course."


Dr. Fauci Warned of Brain Fog

woman hold head in hands suffer from grief problem, depressed lonely upset african girl crying alone on sofa at home

"Some of them even have situations with what they call brain fog," Dr. Fauci told Maddow, "where it's very difficult to them to focus or to concentrate, can be really quite disturbing. We are doing a lot on that."

RELATED: 7 Tips You Must Follow to Avoid COVID, Say Doctors


What to Do if You Suffer From Long COVID

woman Doctor in green uniform wear eyeglasses and surgical mask talking, consulting and giving advice to Elderly female patient at the hospital

Tell your medical professional if you have any of those symptoms. Although doctors still don't know how to cure it, they can help treat the symptoms. Dr. Fauci says the medical community is studying Long COVID intensely. "We're going to make a major investment in research dollars to try and find out the full extent of this," he told Maddow. "Any hints towards what the underlying mechanisms are, what we can do to treat it. We take it very seriously for the simple reason that even if a small fraction and it appears to be more than just a small fraction of people have persistent symptoms—when you look at the 24, 25 million people in the United States, who've been infected, albeit not all of them have had any symptoms, but even those who has symptoms and globally, when you have approaching a hundred million people having been infected, this could be something that really could be an issue. And that's the reason why we're taking it very seriously." As should you—so to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more