Our administration office at 10777 Main Street in Fairfax is open during regular business hours 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday. Clinic services are not offered at this location.
Long COVID can include a wide range of ongoing health problems. These conditions can last weeks, months, or years.
They are found more often in people who had severe COVID-19 illness. Anyone who gets sick with COVID can develop long COVID though.
People not vaccinated against COVID-19 who become infected may have a higher risk of developing long COVID compared to people previously vaccinated.
Most people with long COVID have evidence of infection or COVID-19 illness. However, some may not have tested positive for the virus or known they were infected.
Scientists are working to understand more about who experiences long COVID and why.
Resources and support are available for those living with or caring for people with long or post-COVID conditions.
Read below for more details.
About Long COVID
Some people who have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 can experience long-term effects from their infection. This is known as post-COVID conditions or long COVID. People call post-COVID conditions by many names, including: long COVID, long-haul COVID, long-term effects of COVID, and chronic COVID.
Long COVID is a wide range of symptoms (physical and mental) that continue or develop after initial COVID-19 which continues for weeks, months, or longer and are not explained by an alternative diagnosis. Learn more about how long COVID is defined.
There is no test that determines if your symptoms or condition is due to COVID-19. Long COVID is not one illness and is different from person to person. Your healthcare provider considers a diagnosis of post-COVID conditions based on your health history, including if you had a diagnosis of COVID-19 either by a positive test or by symptoms or exposure, as well as doing a health examination.
Scientists are working to better understand post-COVID conditions and how many people experience them. Estimates of the proportion of people who have long COVID vary.Some estimates of the risk of long COVID vary between 5 and 30%, and a recent large study by CDC suggested that one in five adult COVID-19 survivors aged 18 to 65 years and one in four survivors aged 65 years and over have a health condition related to their previous COVID-19 illness. Learn more about Data for Long COVID from the CDC.
Who is More Likely to Develop Long COVID
Researchers are working to understand which people or groups of people are more likely than others to get long COVID, and why. So far, studies have found that the following people may be more likely than others to get long COVID:
People who get severely ill from COVID, especially those who need hospital care.
Scientists are researching some health inequities that may place these communities at higher risk of both getting infected or developing post-COVID conditions.
How to Prevent Long COVID
The best way to prevent long COVID is to protect yourself and others from becoming infected.
The CDC recommends staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccination. CDC also recommends improving ventilation, getting tested for COVID-19 if needed, and seeking treatment for COVID-19 if eligible, along with other prevention steps.
People as young as six months are eligible for the updated vaccine.
People with long COVID can have a wide range of symptoms that can last weeks, months, or even years after infection. Post-COVID conditions may not affect everyone the same way.
People with long COVID may experience health problems from different types and combinations of symptoms happening over different lengths of time. Sometimes the symptoms can even go away or come back again.
General symptoms (Not a Comprehensive List)
Tiredness or fatigue that interferes with daily life
Living with long COVID can be hard, especially when there are no immediate answers or solutions.
People experiencing long COVID can seek care from a healthcare provider to come up with a personal medical management plan that can help improve their symptoms and quality of life.
Preparing for an appointment can make all the difference in getting the proper evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment. To help get the most out of appointments, scroll through the information below. You can also download a printable Healthcare Appointment Checklist.
1. Preparing Before an Appointment
2. During Your Appointment
3. After Your Appointment
Preparing Before an Appointment
List Your Healthcare Providers
Prepare a list of your current and past healthcare providers and your current and past medical conditions, especially if you are seeing a new healthcare provider.
Prepare a brief history that summarizes your experience with COVID-19 and post-COVID conditions. For example, write down a list of the symptoms you think started after your COVID-19 infection:
the date of onset of original COVID-19 illness and/or positive COVID-19 test, if known
when your post-COVID condition symptoms started o a list of prior treatments and diagnostic tests related to your post-COVID symptoms (blood work, x-rays, etc.)
what makes your symptoms worse?
how the symptoms affect your activities, including challenges that effect daily living, working, attending school, etc.
how often symptoms occur
how you have been feeling
try to describe examples of your best and worst days. Select your most important issues (sometimes referred to as “chief complaints”) and write them down.
Prepare a list of medications and supplements you are taking. Most healthcare providers will ask you to provide this information at each appointment. Bringing your list with you will help keep track.
Consider discussing your appointment with a trusted family member or friend immediately before and after you see your healthcare provider. This person can help you take notes and remember what was discussed at the appointment while it’s still fresh in your mind. If your healthcare provider’s office policy allows it, consider bringing them to your appointment with you.
What to expect at an appointment
The provider you meet with could be a doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or other type of healthcare professional. It may take more than one appointment to evaluate potential post-COVID symptoms and determine an accurate diagnosis to better manage and treat your symptoms. Your provider may ask questions about your medical history, current symptoms, and quality of life. Depending on your symptoms, they may run tests to determine a diagnosis and plan for treatment. ;
During Your Appointment
Bring Your List of Concerns
Appointment time is often limited. It will help to make a list of why you are coming in for an appointment. Start with your most concerning issues. Your provider might call this your “chief complaints”.
Focus on talking to your provider. If your provider still needs any of your past medical records, ask to sign required forms to give your permission to have these records sent.
Ask & Answer Questions
Ask questions, starting with the most important ones. Don’t hesitate to ask your healthcare provider to clarify the answers if they are not clear to you.
Be prepared to discuss your activity levels, what activities make your illness worse, and any medications that seem to improve or worsen the symptoms.
Answer the provider’s questions. Explain how you feel. Be straightforward, and don’t be embarrassed to talk about anything.
Let your provider know if there have been any changes to your prescribed medications and supplements.
Know Your Next Steps
Make sure you understand the next steps. Bring pencil and paper to write down instructions or use your hand-held device for notes. Repeat back what the provider has told you to check for understanding.
Ask for a Summary
Ask for an appointment summary. You can also ask the provider to write down any instructions, medication names, etc., for you. If there are changes to your treatment plan, make sure you understand what to do. For new medication, ask why it is being given and what you should expect by taking this new medication.
Make appointments for follow up and any additional testing.
Record future appointments on your calendar. Ask a friend or family member to put the appointment(s) on their calendars as well. Ask the provider’s office if they will call or email you with an appointment reminder.
Work with Your Healthcare Provider
If you are confused or don’t remember something your provider said, call the provider’s office for clarification.
Follow your provider’s instructions as closely as you can.
Document Your Experiences
Continue to record symptoms in a journal, if possible. Some people with post-COVID conditions find it helpful to include:
whether symptoms have improved
which treatments have improved symptoms
any side effects
any other new symptoms or changes
Make a note to give your healthcare provider feedback about how recommended interventions have worked for you.
Write down any issues you did not have time to talk about at the last appointment.
Keep track of medications, vitamins, herbs, supplements, and over-the-counter drugs you take, using a current medications and supplements list.
Remind your provider to share any test results if the expected window for receiving the results has passed.
Set Goals with Your Healthcare Provider
Your provider may run tests that return normal results. This does not change the existence, severity, or importance of your symptoms or conditions. Healthcare providers and patients are encouraged to set achievable goals through shared decision-making and to approach treatment by focusing on specific symptoms or conditions