Post-COVID is an umbrella term used by the CDC and others to classify the wide range of health consequences that are present four or more weeks after infection with SARS-CoV-2. It is also called several different names in the media and research articles such as long COVID, long-haul COVID, chronic COVID, and others. NOTE that documentation of a positive COVID-19 test is not needed as patients can develop Post-COVID Syndrome following an asymptomatic infection.
There are many symptoms associated with Post-COVID Syndrome and can result from the long-term effects of the viral infection, associated prolonged illness and hospitalization related to severe COVID-19 disease. Continued or even new symptoms may develop and can be associated with Post-COVID Syndrome including difficulty breathing, fatigue, malaise, “brain fog” or cognitive impairment, cough, chest pain, headache, rash, impaired daily function, etc. View the complete list of symptoms.
In his Long COVID: The Next Fight in an Ongoing Battle blog, Sterling Ransone, M.D., writes about his own experiences treating patients with long COVID and shares Academy resources members can use.
The CDC has provided interim guidance for clinicians managing patients with Post-COVID Syndrome. Guidance includes information on testing, evaluation, management, and coordination of care. This guidance will be updated as new information is available. AAFP hosted a panel session discussing this guidance as well as best practices.
Post-COVID Syndrome, or Long COVID, may be eligible to be classified as a disability under new guidance from HHS under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This guidance may offer support for patients with Post-COVID Syndrome receiving necessary accommodations at school and work. Read more.