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50% of COVID Patients Have These Symptoms After, Says New Study

A new study details Long COVID.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Think coronavirus ends after you catch it? Think again. Researchers at Penn State College of Medicine have found that "more than half of the 236 million people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 worldwide since December 2019 will experience post-COVID symptoms — more commonly known as 'long COVID' — up to six months after recovering." "These findings confirm what many health care workers and COVID-19 survivors have been claiming, namely, that adverse health effects from COVID-19 can linger," said co-lead investigator Vernon Chinchilli, chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences. "Although previous studies have examined the prevalence of long COVID symptoms among patients, this study examined a larger population, including people in high-, middle- and low-income countries, and examined many more symptoms. Therefore, we believe our findings are quite robust given the available data." Read on to learn about these symptoms—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


More Than 50% Experienced Fatigue

tired man
nimis69/ Getty Images

Chronic fatigue is a hallmark symptom of Long COVID. This isn't just a sleepy feeling. This is a crushing fatigue that makes even simple chores, or simple exertions, tiring, leading to potential debilitation. Some patients also experience "post-exertional malaise"—a notion familiar to those with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. After doing something—taking a walk, exercising or even just doing the dishes—24 to 48 hours, you may feel like your body crashes.


More Than 50% Experienced Pain

Young woman have headache migraine stress or tinnitus

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has warned of "myalgia"—pain that can accompany Long COVID. These pains can appear anywhere—in your back, your belly, your chest, of your head, leading to crushing migraines.


More Than 50% Experienced Weight Loss

Feet standing on a scale.

After a viral infection, it's not uncommon to have a loss of appetite that leads to weight loss. Worryingly, this weight loss can continue for months for many Long COVID patients. Between gastrointestinal issues and anxiety/depression, it's hard to want to tuck into a meal. Also, some foods—like gluten or dairy—may trigger symptoms like inflammation.

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More Than 50% Experienced Fever

Woman being sick having flu lying on sofa looking at temperature on thermometer. Sick woman lying in bed with high fever.

Fever is a sign your body is fighting an infection, traditionally a good thing. However, for many "long haulers," they have what Dr. Fauci has called "temperature dysregulation," where you get fever or chills. Is this proof there's a remnant of the COVID virus still inside Long Haulers? Researchers are studying that theory now.

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Nearly One in Four Experienced Difficulty Concentrating

Woman is stressed tired and cant focus on her work

Dr. Fauci has warned of "brain fog"—an inability to concentrate or to remember things. This brain fog can cost some people their jobs, as even simple things, like writing or holding a conversation, can become impossible, or in some cases, like driving, dangerous.

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You May Have These Other Symptoms

Man sitting on bed holding his head.

The Penn State College of Medicine researchers warn of these symptoms as well:

  • "General well-being: More than half of all patients reported weight loss, fatigue, fever or pain.
  • Mobility: Roughly one in five survivors experienced a decrease in mobility.
  • Mental health disorders: Nearly one in three patients were diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorders.
  • Lung abnormalities: Six in ten survivors had chest imaging abnormality and more than a quarter of patients had difficulty breathing.
  • Cardiovascular issues: Chest pain and palpitations were among the commonly reported conditions.
  • Skin conditions: Nearly one in five patients experienced hair loss or rashes.
  • Digestive issues: Stomach pain, lack of appetite, diarrhea and vomiting were among the commonly reported conditions."

If you feel these symptoms, contact a medical professional. Also get vaccinated, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more about Alek