What is long covid and why are its effects different for different individuals? Recovery from COVID is unique for everyone. With a wide array from no symptoms to mild/severe symptoms that can lead to an easier recovery of quickness and completion to a long recovery with lasting symptoms. April 2022 reports started to come in that previously healthy patients who were infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, were experiencing lasting and some have debilitating symptoms that were causing them not to make a full recovery from the infection. Symptoms can last for weeks or even months after COVID infection. They can range from relatively mild to severe, and they can change, disappear, and reappear over time.

General symptoms such as:



Joint or muscle pain

Breathing and heart-related symptoms such as:

Trouble Breathing


Chest pain

Pounding heart

Neurological symptoms (related to the brain and nervous system) such as:

Trouble breathing


Chest pain

Pounding heart

Digestive symptoms such as:

Stomach pain


What causes long COVID?

It’s not clear what specifically is the cause of long COVID, but researchers have discovered a few clues that could shed light on this puzzling condition. One clue is the way that different people’s immune systems react to COVID-19 infection. Research is showing that people with the most severe COVID-19 symptoms and people with long COVID are more prone to have higher levels of damaging antibodies called “autoantibodies.” Autoantibodies are proteins in the immune system that attack and damage healthy tissue and are involved in many autoimmune diseases. There may be numerous causes of long COVID, which could help explain the wide scale of symptoms. Some of the current theories are:

Autoimmune response         

Persistent virus

Dormant virus

Organ damage

Who can get it?

People who have had severe cases of COVID-19 seem more likely to get long COVID.

Some people with long COVID didn’t have any symptoms from COVID-19 or only had mild or moderate symptoms.

Other groups who may be at greater risk include women, African Americans, people who had specific health issues before getting COVID-19, and people who did not get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Anyone who has had COVID is susceptible to long COVID.

How is it diagnosed and treated?

 If you know you’ve had COVID-19 in the past, you and your doctor can work together to rule out other potential causes for your symptoms.

Want to get involved?

There are lots of ways you can contribute to long COVID research:

Connect with the RECOVER Initiative

Learn about patient-led research

Join a clinical trial

Join a study at the NIH Clinical Center


National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases August 24, 2022.

One Response

  1. An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment. I think that you should publish more about this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people do not speak about these subjects. To the next! All the best!!

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