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Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID, According to New Research

Are you a long hauler? These five symptoms are the most common indicators.
FACT CHECKED BY Checkmark Emilia Paluszek
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If you had COVID-19, suffering either a mild, moderate, or severe infection, and are still suffering from mysterious symptoms weeks to months later, you aren’t alone. Long COVD, aka long hauler syndrome, is a health condition plaguing COVID survivors around the world. Over the last year, health experts have continued to study their symptoms and struggles, in hopes of understanding the mysterious illness. Now, a new systematic review of studies has identified the five most common symptoms to look out for. Read on to find out what they are—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

1

You May Have Fatigue

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Per their research, 58 percent of those with long hauler syndrome suffer from fatigue, making it the most common symptom of long and acute COVID-19. “It is present even after 100 days of the first symptom of acute COVID-19,” write the researchers. “The symptoms observed in post-COVID-19 patients, resemble in part the chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), which includes the presence of severe incapacitating fatigue, pain, neurocognitive disability, compromised sleep, symptoms suggestive of autonomic dysfunction, and worsening of global symptoms following minor increases in physical and/or cognitive activity.”

2

You May Have a Headache

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They also explain that neuropsychiatric symptoms are common with long haulers. A headache was the second most reported sign of the syndrome, with 44 percent of all surveyed reporting it. “The etiology of neuropsychiatric symptoms in COVID-19 patients is complex and multifactorial," the researchers explain. “They could be related to the direct effect of the infection, cerebrovascular disease (including hypercoagulation), physiological compromise (hypoxia), side effects of medications, and social aspects of having a potentially fatal illness.”

3

You May Have Attention Disorder

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Adults have a double risk of being newly diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder after the COVID-19 diagnosis, according to the study, with the most common psychiatric conditions presented being anxiety disorders, insomnia, and dementia. All of these can contribute to an individual struggling with being able to pay attention, which could explain why attention disorder, a neuropsychiatric condition, was reported by over one-quarter (27 percent) of those surveyed. 

4

You May Have Hair Loss

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Exactly one out of four long haulers reported hair loss as a symptom. “Hair loss after COVID-19 could be considered as telogen effluvium, defined by diffuse hair loss after an important systemic stressor or infection, and it is caused because of premature follicular transitions from active growth phase (anagen) to resting phase (telogen),” the researchers explain. They add that it is a “self-limiting condition” lasting approximately 3 months, “but it could cause emotional distress.”

5

You May Have Dyspnea

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Difficulty breathing, aka dyspnea, was found in 24 percent of patients. Researchers explain that abnormalities in CT lung scans persisted in 35 percent of patients—even after 60-100 days from the initial presentation. If you experience this or any other symptom mentioned here, contact a medical professional to discuss if you have Long COVID.

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

6

Protect Yourself and Others

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The best way to avoid long hauler syndrome is to stay away from COVID in the first place. So follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.