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Post Covid Conditions

While most people recover from the Covid-19 virus within weeks, some people have long-term symptoms and complications. These problems can last for months, and may cause difficulties with everyday life and work. The medical and research communities are still learning about what causes these issues, how often they occur, and what effects they have on people’s lives. They are also working to learn what preventive measures can help reduce the number of people who develop these problems in the future.

Some people who have experienced symptoms of Post Covid conditions continue to experience them after the end of the pandemic, and their condition is sometimes called Long COVID or Post-CoVID Condition. The symptoms can be from when the person was sick with the virus, or they can develop later and persist for a period of time. Symptoms can be as mild as feeling tired all the time, or they can be very serious and interfere with everyday life.

There is no cure for Post-Covid conditions, but there are ways to manage them. The main thing is to talk to your doctor about the symptoms you are experiencing. They can give you medicines to ease headaches, pain, fever, cough, and shortness of breath. They can also tell you which activities to avoid, and how to wash your hands properly and keep them away from other people.

A vaccine to protect against the COVID-19 virus was introduced during the pandemic, and is one of the best ways to help reduce the chances of developing Post-Covid conditions. Some people have reported that being vaccinated improved their symptoms and quality of life.

Healthcare professionals can help patients cope with the symptoms of Post-Covid conditions by providing emotional support and practical advice. They can refer them to specialists for further evaluation, and connect them with social services when necessary (e.g., assistance with financial, work and family problems), resources on disability and reasonable accommodation for their illness, or patient support groups.

Laboratory testing is usually unnecessary for most people who are being evaluated for Post-Covid conditions, but it should be considered when the situation warrants it. For instance, a basic panel of laboratory tests might be ordered if a patient has persistent fatigue or shortness of breath (including testing for non-COVID-19-related conditions that may be contributing to the symptoms), and expanded testing should be considered if these symptoms persist for 3 months or longer. The decision to order more specialized laboratory tests should always be made in the context of the history, physical examination, and clinical findings. It should not be based on objective laboratory or imaging findings alone, as this can lead to over-testing and unneeded anxiety for the patient.

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