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Are you one of the 1 in 5 Americans?Here's what you need to know about brain fog and potential dangers

Maybe you know that feeling.

You escaped the initial COVID wave in Spring 2020, but caught the virus in the Delta wave in Fall 2021, or during the initial Omicron wave the following holiday, or during another recent Omicron spawn infected with a virus. After a few months, you find yourself a little tired and… foggy. You might be wondering, “Do I have a long corona virus? Is that why I’m in a trance?”

In fact, brain fog, muscle soreness, and fatigue are Known as some of the most common symptoms of the murky state of COVID-19, experts believe the condition affects as many as one in five Americans who have survived the relatively new virus. They appear mild compared to more than 200 other potential symptoms of long-term COVID, such as the development or worsening of heart disease, autoimmune disease and neurological problems, such as a persistent “brain on fire” feeling. How likely is it that your new post-COVID symptoms are long-term COVID? How long will they last? What’s the difference between a brain fog episode and a potentially fatal post-COVID complication?

What is my new health problem to blame? They are the questions on the minds of countless patients and doctors right now: Is my new eczema long-term COVID? Is my diabetes blood sugar control worsening because of COVID? I’m a little out of my mind – am I a “long distance porter”? Experts say it’s hard to attribute symptoms to a condition like prolonged COVID when the condition isn’t clearly defined. The problem is that, at least for now, “long-term COVID” can cover anything from patients with mild COVID with persistent mild symptoms to those hospitalized with severe COVID and continue to suffer organ damage from it. Everything, Miranda Azola, co-director of Dr. Alba’s post-acute COVID-19 team program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told Fortune. For those with pre-existing medical conditions, it is impossible to say whether these outcomes (such as a heart attack) were caused by COVID, the disease, or both — The answer may vary from person to person. According to a 2021 Florida study that considered more than 13,000 health records, those with severe COVID-19 face a greater risk of death in the following year. A study published in March considered more than 150,000 COVID survivors and thousands of controls and found survivors had a significantly increased risk of heart disease, which can lead to death. Some patients with chronic Covid-19 experience symptoms that are not related to the condition, or will occur anyway.

When will it disappear? In terms of how long “prolonged COVID” symptoms are likely to last, some patients do report improvements and complete disappearance of symptoms within a few months, experts say. But countless others have not reported such resolutions. They may eventually recover; it’s too early to say they won’t. “We’re only two and a half years away from a pandemic,” Dr. Glenn Mays, dean and professor at the Colorado School of Public Health, told Fortune. Society hasn’t really “see what the long-term consequences are”. Dr. Panagis Galiatsatos, assistant professor of pulmonology at Johns Hopkins University, said that many people who self-report prolonged COVID simply develop “post-viral complications” after many viral and bacterial infections, such as Lyme disease and Epstein-Barr virus. disease”. Critical Care Medicine, recently told Fortune. In these cases, it may take three to six months to return to normal. He said recovering from COVID is a lot like recovering from a bruised leg after a fall from a bicycle. “The initial effects of the scratches are gone, but the scars take time to heal,” he said. “Patients who are still coughing at two months – that’s part of the cure.”

Mental haze, something more serious, or both Of? Azola said there was no evidence of an increased risk of death in patients with mild COVID symptoms and now with relatively mild long-term COVID symptoms. But this does not minimize the potential harm of these symptoms. For example, mental confusion may put someone at greater risk of a car accident or injury while operating heavy machinery. “Brain fog — you might not think it could lead to death immediately or directly, but imagine a situation where you can’t concentrate — you might be more likely to have an accident,” Bruce Y. Lee, Ph.D., A professor of health policy and management at the City University of New York School of Public Health told FORTUNE Mays said that those who have been infected with the new coronavirus for a long time and are prone to People who are exhausted may not be able to get enough exercise, which may increase their risk of developing chronic diseases (such as obesity, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes) and premature death in the future. He noted that there is also the long-term impact of COVID on mental health that cannot be ignored. “Mental health problems are widespread in the U.S., accelerated in part by the COVID-19 pandemic, directly or indirectly,” Mays said. “This is another pathway through which long-term COVID may have serious adverse health effects,” via Create a mental health condition or worsen a pre-existing condition. Long-term COVID symptoms such as depression and anxiety “can be fatal,” he said, adding that the inability to move, exercise regularly and attend work as before could lead to a “longer path to health decline”.

It’s not inevitable

Best advice is not to take long-term COVID-19 or even COVID is inevitable and take precautions such as using masks and maintaining social distancing. “There’s a wide spectrum of how people get it,” Galliasatos said of the virus, adding that “how you get COVID” may determine whether you develop long-term COVID. For example, some studies suggest that those who are vaccinated and/or treated with the antiviral drug Paxlovid may have a lower risk of developing the disease. CDC’s statistic asserting that one in five U.S. adults has COVID disease is often based on surveys, individual self-identification, and not necessarily an official diagnosis. This type of questionnaire basically asks, “Have you had any new health problems since you got COVID?” Dr. Alexandra Brugler Yonts, an infectious disease specialist who runs a long-term COVID clinic at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. , he recently told Fortune . “It’s a challenge because life goes on and people still have health conditions.” Takeaway: This is not the time to put your hands up and be careful . COVID can be avoided—at least sometimes—long-term COVID is not inevitable. Brugler Yonts said: “Just because I might get the flu at another stage in my life doesn’t mean I’ll be licking the subway.”

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