“Long-haul COVID,” “long COVID” and “post-COVID syndrome” are references to patients who have been infected with COVID-19 and are still experiencing long-term effects and symptoms.
“Estimates show that 10%–30% of people who become infected with COVID-19 will end up coming down with long-haul COVID,” says Dr. Greg Vanichkachorn, medical director of Mayo Clinic’s COVID Activity Rehabilitation Program. “And it does look like that long-haul COVID could be a new chronic infection for some folks and be a new baseline.”
The World Health Organization recently gave post-COVID syndrome its first clinical definition. “It says that patients should have symptoms that last for three months or more after their acute infection,” says Dr. Vanichkachorn. “If someone does get long-haul COVID symptoms where things are not heading in the right direction, I recommend that patients seek medical care earlier than later.”