People of all ages can develop Long COVID and doctors say it can happen to people who may not have experienced many symptoms during the initial COVID-19 infection.
Long COVID is a combination of symptoms that persist after an infection with COVID-19. Long COVID can appear immediately after the initial infection or months later. Doctors say that symptoms can pop up intermittently.
“Medications that work against acute COVID are not helping long-COVID symptoms. There is really no medication or treatment for long COVID, but only for the individual symptoms," said Dr. Henning Ansorg, the public health officer for Santa Barbara County Public Health.
Dr. Ansorg says many people with long COVID experience changes in their heart rate, mood, notice difficulties with concentration and report brain fog.
“Most people report fatigue pronounced fatigue, not just like a little tired after a bad night, but feeling really exhausted. Many have shortness of breath, difficulty breathing,” Dr. Ansorg added.
Doctors are not sure if long COVID is worse for people who have contracted COVID-19 multiple times. Dr. Ansorg says catching COVID-19 multiples times is a relatively new phenomenon.
“These are variants changing so rapidly and long, COVID can last for weeks and months. We don't have any consensus whether any particular version of COVID creates more of the long COVID syndrome than other variants, unfortunately,” said Dr. Ansorg.
While anyone can contract long COVID, Dr. Ansorg explained that it can be a little more common with people over the age of 60.
“To my knowledge, is very limited information on long COVID on children just because they have less infections overall, so I'm not aware of any particular study that just addressed children yet,” he said.