Most people have been infected by SARS-CoV-2 and had COVID-19. Some people have recovered without any complications, but many of us know someone who has been left with a lingering cough, fatigue, vertigo, headaches or something more serious.
Sometimes people fail to link their ongoing symptoms with their original COVID-19 infection because they haven’t been informed the virus can have long-term effects.
Long COVID, a patient-led catchall term to describe post-acute sequelae, can occur after mild infection. Vaccination can reduce the risk of Long COVID but does not eliminate the risk entirely.
Infection does not prevent Long COVID or other complications, and there is some evidence reinfection can result in poor health outcomes. In its list of things doctors wish people knew about COVID-19, the American Medical Association includes a caution on reinfection:
We know from a pretty elegant study that was recently published in Nature Medicine that each subsequent COVID infection will increase your risk of developing chronic health issues like diabetes, kidney disease, organ failure and even mental health problems.
Support groups for people with Long COVID: