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San Marcos, CA

Post-COVID Syndrome Treatment in Orange County, CA

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Post-COVID Syndrome

The majority of people who have COVID-19 recover fully within a few weeks. But some people-- even those who had mild versions of the disease-- continue to experience symptoms after their initial recovery.

These individuals sometimes describe themselves as "long-haulers," and the conditions have been called "post-COVID-19 syndrome" or "long COVID-19." These health problems also are occasionally called "post-COVID-19 conditions." These health problems are usually considered to be effects of COVID-19 that persist for more than four weeks after people have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Older people and individuals with many major medical conditions are the most likely to experience remaining COVID-19 symptoms, but even young, otherwise healthy people can feel ill for weeks to months after infection.

Common signs and symptoms that linger over time include:

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Coughing
  • Joint pain
  • Chest pain
  • Memory, concentration or sleep problems
  • Muscle pain or headache
  • Fast or pounding heartbeat
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Fever
  • Dizziness when standing
  • Worsened symptoms after physical or mental activities

Organ damage caused by COVID-19

Although COVID-19 is seen as a disease that primarily affects the lungs, it can damage several other organs, also. This organ damage may increase the risk of long-term health problems.

Organs that may be affected by COVID-19 include:


Imaging tests taken months after recovery from COVID-19 have shown lasting damage to the heart, even in people who experienced only mild COVID-19 symptoms. This might raise the risk of heart failure or other heart complications in the future.


The type of pneumonia commonly associated with COVID-19 can cause long-standing damage to the small air sacs, or alveoli, in the lungs. The resulting scar tissue can lead to long-term breathing problems.


Even in young people, COVID-19 can cause strokes, seizures and Guillain-Barre syndrome-- a condition that results in temporary paralysis. COVID-19 also can increase the risk of getting Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.

Some adults and children experience multisystem inflammatory syndrome after they have been infected with COVID-19. In this condition, some organs and tissues become severely inflamed.

Blood clots, blood vessel problems

COVID-19 can make blood cells more likely to clump and create clots. While large clots can trigger heart attacks and strokes, much of the heart damage caused by COVID-19 is believed to come from small clots that block tiny blood vessels, or capillaries, in the heart.

Other parts of the body affected by blood clots include the lungs, legs, liver, and kidneys. COVID-19 also can damage blood vessels and cause them to leak, which results in potentially long-lasting problems with the liver and kidneys.

Issues with mood, fatigue

Individuals that have severe symptoms of COVID-19 often need to be treated in a hospital's ICU with mechanical support, such as ventilators to breathe. Simply surviving this experience can make a person more likely to later develop post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety.

Because it's hard to predict long-term outcomes from COVID-19, scientists are examining the long-term effects seen in related viruses, such as the coronavirus that causes the severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS.

Many individuals who have recovered from SARS have gone on to develop chronic fatigue syndrome, a complex disorder identified by extreme fatigue that worsens with physical or mental activity yet does not improve with rest. The same may be true for individuals that have been infected with COVID-19.

COVID-19 effects still not known

Much is still not known about how COVID-19 will affect individuals over time, but research is ongoing. Researchers suggest that health care providers carefully monitor people who have been infected with COVID-19 to see how their organs function after recovery.

Many large medical centers are opening specialized clinics to care for individuals that have persistent symptoms or related illnesses after they recover from COVID-19. Support groups are available, too.

It's important to keep in mind that most people that are infected with COVID-19 recover quickly. But the potentially long-lasting problems from COVID-19 make it even more important to minimize the spread of COVID-19 by following safety measures. This includes using masks, social distancing, avoiding crowds, getting a vaccine when available and keeping hands clean.

For further information about Dr. Stengler’s practice and his clinic in Orange County, California, please visit our website at or give us a call at (760) 274-2377

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