The Long COVID emerges after a mild COVID-19 infection. Shortness of breath, fatigue, and “brain fog” are among the top symptoms. but there are some that are far more debilitating.
World Health Organization defines it as occurring three months after symptomatic COVID-19 begins and lasts for at least two months.
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What causes long COVID?
The WHO also notes that sometimes the symptoms just never go away after the initial infection. They may also appear months after recovery or after an asymptomatic case. Just because you have recovered from a COVID-19 infection doesn’t mean you can’t fall ill later. Read more about it here.
There are still no firm answers as to what causes long COVID, but experts are narrowing it down.
Some research suggests that low levels of certain antibodies, reactivated viruses in the bloodstream, and existing conditions such as diabetes or asthma may increase your risk.
Scientists are in agreement that it is too soon to predict a wave of long COVID from Omicron.
Research is being conducted to see if different variants can change the likelihood of getting it.
Vaccination seems to offer protection against long COVID, but research has yet to determine how much.
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Is there only one type of long COVID?
There are likely several subtypes of long COVID. Each subtype comes with its own set of symptoms and cause.
There are currently two leading theories on the causes. It is thought that that symptoms are driven by the immune system or by the persistence of the virus in the body. “Both factors are at play and interconnected, together with a number of other mechanisms.”
The immune theory suggests that the virus turns the immune system against the body.
Racing heart, dizziness, weakness, and microclots in the blood, could be explained by this theory.
Theories on viral persistence are also being explored.
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