Lingering effects of a COVID infection: Post COVID Syndrome

  • #1


Science Advisor
Education Advisor
TL;DR Summary
Months after recovering from a COVID infection not requiring hospitalization persons develop debilitating conditions.
It is becoming apparent that the COVID pandemic may be casusing more harm than originally thought. Months after recovering from noncritical infections from COVID people are developing medical conditions that are greatly affecting their lives. Symptoms include tremors, vertigo, double vision, loss of memory, reduced ability to think (Covid brain fog), heavy limbs, loss of stamina/strength, and headaches. These symptoms cannot be ascribed to any observable medical conditions. An autopsy has been the only definitive way of determining the effects of the infection so far.

It has been well known that the virus causes macroscopic blood clotting in acute patients but microscopic clotting is also found. Many patients succumb to an overreaction of the immune system resulting in what is known as a cytokine storm. Because of this, some believe that the immune systems may continue to work even after the virus has been controlled. Mt Sinai hospital in New York started a program for post-infection care of patients who had a serious infection and now have extended it to those experiencing the post COVID syndrome. CBS's 60 Minutes program had a spot on it this past Sunday. Dr. Fauci has also brought this to the countries attention and noted that 20% to 30% of mildly infected persons are showing symptoms. The affected people are known as "Long Haulers". A good discussion is found HERE.

With 12 million people who have shown symptoms of the infection so far, this could result in another serious medical care problem if the symptoms do not resolve in a reasonable time. Considering the laissez-faire attitude of much of the population to the pandemic the effect of the pandemic may linger for much longer than anticipated. The current long haulers are most likely those who have debilitating symptoms. Some may function for part of the day as one of the physicians in the Mt Sinai program but who becomes almost useless after work from severe headaches. How many of these are there?
  • Informative
  • Like
Likes Oldman too, dRic2 and berkeman

Answers and Replies

  • #3
It needs to be emphasized that even young people with mild symptoms from the infection are suffering eight months after the initial recovery with continuing severe problems. Many think that because the infection can be mild that they need not be too concerned if they are young and strong.
  • #4
As @gleem noted above:
Summary:: Months after recovering from a COVID infection not requiring hospitalization persons develop debilitating conditions.

A good discussion is found HERE.
Reading the article, I was struck by the symptoms similar to myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), which I had for about 10 14 years following a bout of mononucleosis. The article then noted that Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also noted the similarity.

About 5 years in, I started realizing that the disease progress had many of the characteristics of an infectious agent.

At the 10 14 year mark of slow progression, I had a bout of Infectious Colitis that had me in the hospital for a week. Of course I was pumped full of antibiotics, which rapidly cured that problem.

Roughly 10 days after returning home, I needed less of the ME/CFS medications to function. At six weeks the ME/CFS had disappeared... and still good now, 10 years later.

Of course back then ME/CFS was mostly considered a psychological problem and any suggestion otherwise was a symptom!

Current thinking on ME/CFS is that some gut bacteria are seen to invade the nervous system/brain reeking slow havoc.

EDIT May 7, 2022:

It is also on

Ah well, we all live-and-learn. Maybe the above will trigger some COVID-19 researcher to investigate.

Last edited:
  • Informative
  • Wow
  • Like
Likes Oldman too, Astronuc, chemisttree and 1 other person
  • #6
A few recent papers published surveying COVID-19 patients for long term symptoms:

6-month consequences of COVID-19 in patients discharged from hospital: a cohort study (peer reviewed study published in the Lancet)

Characterizing Long COVID in an International Cohort: 7 Months of Symptoms and Their Impact (non-peer-reviewed preprint)

The Lancet study is probably more reliable as it took as its population the set of patients discharged from a particular hospital over a certain time period versus the medRxiv preprint that took its data from surveys distributed via online COVID-19 support groups and social media (likely subjecting responses to more self-selection biases). However, both show symptoms of COVID-19 (such as fatigue and cognitive symptoms) persisting for months after infection. The Lancet study also showed long lasting impaired lung function in those with severe COVID-19 infections.
  • #8
  • #9
After reading the link in the above post, it refers to neurological and/or chemical communication, whereas ME/CFS seems to be direct brain infection by gut bacteria (that is if I recall the details correctly, I did not re-read the ME/CFS article [let me know if I need to!])
I believe your correct on the differences between ME/CFS infection and "gut-brain axis". When I first read your post #4, The concept of gut-brain communication came to mind, after going over your link I realized it described a completely different situation, a very intriguing and relevant article.

As for re-reading your link, I'm sure you have it right. If you do decide to go over it again, here's another look at the paper.

I was contemplating the path these bacteria might take to infecting the CSF in the first place, my mind wandered around to "Leaky gut" and the first search brings up,
"We already know that increased intestinal permeability plays a role in certain gastrointestinal conditions such as celiac disease, Crohn's disease, and irritable bowel syndrome. The biggest question is whether or not a leaky gut may cause problems elsewhere in the body. Some studies show that leaky gut may be associated with other autoimmune diseases (lupus, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis), chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, arthritis, allergies, asthma, acne, obesity, and even mental illness. However, we do not yet have clinical studies in humans showing such a cause and effect."

Amazing how seemingly independent systems can be interrelated in so many ways. I think I need to do some more reading on this, thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Edit note: After looking for more current info on ME/CFS-Covid long haul research I've come across an interesting site that is currently hosting webinar sessions on long Covid and ME/CFS studies.
This might be particularly interesting to @Tom.G and @Ygggdrasil or any other medically inclined individuals. Since it's not open to the general public but rather aimed at the professional community, I'm hoping someone can check it out and share any new results or theories on the forum.

The webinar sessions are presented by The Pacific Northwest Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) through a CDC contract.
long haul CFS.PNG

Cheers, Scott
Last edited:
  • #10
Paging @berkeman.

The immediately preceding post ( references two webinars that both @Oldman too and I would dearly love to eavesdrop on; however we have neither the Organization affiliation nor the ZOOM equipment to do so.

Is there a chance you could attend them and report the significant details for the PF family?

Last edited:
  • #11
however we have neither the Organization affiliation nor the ZOOM equipment to do so.
But ZOOM is free to download, no?

Is the issue that you need to have professional medical credentials to attened?
  • #12
A few constraints:

1) The webinar sign-up page desires at least an EMT membership (not enforced?)
2a) ZOOM complains there is no video camera on the computer
2b) I also tried ZOOM on a neighbors 75in. Smart TV and ZOOM complained the 5-6 y.o. TV was too old to install on.

  • #13
2a) ZOOM complains there is no video camera on the computer
Does your computer/laptop have a camera? If not, did you try installing ZOOM on your phone instead?
  • #14
Tower Computer: No.
Laptop: No.
Phone: a LandLine, so No.

p.s. Tower OS is Win XP
  • #15
Oops. Sometimes ZOOM meetings will have a call-in number that you can use if you don't have a computer connection. Maybe look for that?

Sorry, I may not be much help past that. About 15 years ago it became apparent to me that I needed to upgrade from my flip phone to a full smart phone, for emergency preparedness reasons and later for EMT shift reasons.
  • #16
I needed to upgrade from my flip phone to a full smart phone,

What?? :eek:
You do all of your posts on a PHONE?

Sounds a bit, uhmm, masochistic! (feel free to mentor-out this line if needed)
  • #18
I just realized that I'm in danger of hijacking this thread. Any posts going forward about this ZOOM meeting should be about how to attend it or watch the posted presentation afterward, not about how important it is to use cell phones in medical contexts.
  • #19
Sometimes zoom meetings get recorded and are posted for later viewing on line.
  • Like
  • Informative
Likes Oldman too and berkeman
  • #20
A screenshot of the details for attendance, zoom's not a problem. It's the organizational affiliation that raises an issue.

Sometimes zoom meetings get recorded and are posted for later viewing on line.
I looked into this, it was a great idea. going back over the preceding sessions, • 3/10 - Pulmonary Manifestations and• 4/14 - Autonomic /Cardiac Manifestations, I couldn't find any examples posted of them, not even clips. The closest I could come to it was previous works by the researchers, nothing relevant to the ECHO SESSIONS.

Suggested for: Lingering effects of a COVID infection: Post COVID Syndrome