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7 Signs You're a COVID Long Hauler, Says New Study

Signs of PASC include fatigue, chest pain, and many more symptoms.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek
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A new study on Long COVID, more formally known as post-acute sequelae SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), has listed the symptoms for long haulers—those who had COVID and suffer its after-effects for months, a year, possibly for life. "Emerging data suggest that the effects of infection with SARS-CoV-2 are far reaching extending beyond those with severe acute disease," say the authors. "Specifically, the presence of persistent symptoms after apparent resolution from COVID-19 have frequently been reported throughout the pandemic by individuals labeled as "long-haulers.'" The researchers put together the top symptoms. Read on for the top seven, in order from less to most popular—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

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Before You Read the Top 7, Remember That You May Have Any Number of Symptoms

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Keep reading for the top five, but we had to say that those with PASC have suffered from insomnia, diarrhea, joint pain, headache, nausea, tachycardia, alopecia, heart palpitations and any number of these full 98 symptoms. Click through to see the top seven from the most recent study.

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You May Have Fatigue

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"Brain fog, fatigue, and difficulty in concentrating," Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said at the International AIDS Conference of this post-viral syndrome. "This is something we really need to seriously look at because it very well might be a post-viral syndrome associated with COVID-19."

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You May Have Low Back Pain

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Dr. Fauci said "myalgia" can be common among long haulers—pains in your tissues, which can manifest themselves as low back pain (as in the study) or, well, appear anywhere. One patient we know had costochondritis, a pain in his rib tissue.

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You May Have a Cough

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COVID-19 can disrupt every system of your body, but it was primarily thought of as a respiratory disease. So it's not surprising that many long haulers suffer from a cough post-COVID. "It's clear that many patients have had symptoms lasting longer than 2 weeks, a month, or even 3 months," says Chuck Vega from the University of California, Irvine, Department of Family Medicine, to Medscape. "What symptoms do we see with long-haul syndrome? We are seeing fatigue and dyspnea with exertion. Patients can experience difficulty with basic activities of daily living, such as going out to check the mail or preparing a meal. They have persistent cough, and some have chest pain. We know about the loss of smell and taste — the anosmia and dysgeusia — which, although reversible, can take several months to improve."

4

You May Have Abdominal Pain

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Tests don't often reflect all the symptoms. "The next time I care for someone with vague abdominal pain, or fatigue, or paresthesia, or any of the myriad conditions that are uncomfortable on the inside but look fine on the outside, I will remember that these symptoms are real and impactful for patients. There is a marked difference between tests being within normal limits and a patient being well," wrote Jeffrey N. Siegelman, MD, in JAMA.

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You May Have Anxiety

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Between the brain fog, disrupted sleep and neurological dysfunction, you may have a chemically-induced anxiety—or just be naturally anxious about your PASC. 

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You May Have Dyspnea

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"Few sensations are as frightening as not being able to get enough air. Shortness of breath — known medically as dyspnea — is often described as an intense tightening in the chest, air hunger, difficulty breathing, breathlessness or a feeling of suffocation," says the Mayo Clinic.

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And the Most Common Was…Chest Pain

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"Older people and people with many serious medical conditions are the most likely to experience lingering COVID-19 symptoms, but even young, otherwise healthy people can feel unwell for weeks to months after infection," says the Mayo Clinic. "The most common signs and symptoms that linger over time include:

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Joint pain
  • Chest pain

Other long-term signs and symptoms may include:

  • Muscle pain or headache
  • Fast or pounding heartbeat
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Memory, concentration or sleep problems
  • Rash or hair loss"

If you experience any of those symptoms, contact a medical professional, 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.

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