Most people who get infected with the coronavirus recover within a few weeks. However, some continue to experience symptoms weeks or even months after they are infected. They have what are known as long-haul symptoms of COVID-19. As such, they are sometimes called COVID-19 long-haulers. Sometimes, even patients who had a mild or asymptomatic coronavirus infection can become long-haulers.
Scientists want to learn more about who becomes a long-hauler and why. This knowledge can help shape public policy, and determine the best standards of care and precautions to prevent viral transmission of the disease.
An advocacy group called Patient-Led Research for COVID-19 released its first report in May 2020, to provide an in-depth look at the experiences of more than 600 COVID-19 long-haulers. Susannah Fox, who studies online communities of patients with chronic conditions, told MIT Technology Review in August 2020 that such patient groups will be more important to health professionals, particularly during crises such as the coronavirus, that cause health professionals to be overwhelmed.
“The future of health care and technology is being built on such communities,” Fox said. She added that some of the earliest users of online bulletin boards and other online communities were patients with chronic diseases.
Cognitive FX compiled a list of long-term COVID-19 symptoms based on research and data from experts at institutions across the world, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mayo Clinic, Northwestern University, and New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University.