(CTN News) – Some people with COVID-19 suffer from loss of taste or smell, brain fog, and respiratory problems.
In the nearly three years since the COVID-19 pandemic began, many people have reported long-term symptoms, dubbed Long COVID by Dr. Steven Berk, dean of Texas Tech Health Sciences Center’s School of Medicine.
Berk stated that NIH has defined long COVID-19.
Long COVID is characterized by persistent symptoms for several months after an individual has been infected with COVID-19, and it is becoming a major issue for the country, especially since we now realize that some individuals may have only mild COVID symptoms, but the true problem may be long-term symptoms.
As a result of the difference in how each individual manifests symptoms, it is difficult to place a definition on these ongoing effects.
According to Dr. Victor Test, director of pulmonary and critical care at TTUHSC, the American Medical Association has identified 50 symptoms of Long COVID. Because there are so many symptoms, doctors can easily misdiagnose Long COVID or another underlying disease.
There have been over 50 symptoms identified, but fatigue affects 58% of people who have Long COVID, and headache affects 44% of patients, according to Test.
It is not only headaches that are a leading symptom, but also other neurological symptoms, Berk explained.
“People even say I was like this before COVID and I am like this now,” he explained. “Chronic fatigue is a big issue, just not having the same level of energy as they did before COVID-19 – it is similar to what we used to call chronic fatigue syndrome.”
It is, however, brain fog patients refer to as the most confusing mental health symptom, according to Berk.
According to him, there is one study that suggests the antibodies the body produces while fighting the virus may have a direct impact on the brain.
The test revealed that, according to the AMA, 27% of individuals suffer from brain fog. However, the treatment for brain fog is unclear at this time, since it is still relatively new.
In the case of certain conditions, such as pulmonary fibrosis, we have treatment options available. The condition is treated in the same manner as any other type of pulmonary fibrosis,” Test said. People with severe fatigue and brain fog and symptoms such as those – which can be quite debilitating – do not have a well defined treatment.