Long COVID

 

If you or your child may be experiencing Long COVID or a post-COVID condition, it is a good idea to talk with your health care provider. You can also find more information below. 


 

What is Long COVID?

The CDC and National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine define Long COVID as a chronic condition that occurs after SARS-CoV-2 infection and is present for at least 3 months. Long COVID includes a wide range of symptoms or conditions that may improve, worsen, or be ongoing. Long COVID is a serious illness that can result in chronic conditions requiring comprehensive care. Anyone who is infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, even if you do not initially get sick with symptoms, can develop Long COVID.

The CDC and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) maintain detailed and expanding information hubs on Long COVID: 

This page serves to highlight local resources and information, and to connect community members with steps to accessing care. 

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Seeking Support and Care for Long COVID Symptoms

Step 1: If you think you might be experiencing a life-threatening emergency related to a COVID-19 infection, seek medical care immediately by dialing 911. Some post-COVID health problems (such as heart attack, stroke and blood clots) require immediate care. 

Step 2: If your symptoms feel less urgent, make an appointment to see your primary healthcare provider for a complete evaluation. If you don’t have a primary provider, please contact our Health Care Access and Navigation team at 805-781-4838 or contact us online. This team can help you get connected with care.

Step 3: Bring this checklist to your appointment: Healthcare Appointment Checklist for Post-COVID Conditions (link para Español). Keep a journal or a list for a week or two to document your activities, symptoms, their severity, and anything that made you feel better or worse. Bring this with you to your appointment.

Step 4: Your primary doctor can assist you with referrals to specialist physicians as needed for evaluation and management of your symptoms.

Step 5: If the care that you need cannot be accessed locally, you may be referred to or consider seeking care outside of your normal network.

Step 6: Talking with others about long COVID can help improve your emotional and mental health, as well as provide support and information about available resources.    

Long COVID support groups include:  

Step 7: To help or participate in long COVID research, visit recovercovid.org 

Step 8: Learn more about long COVID from trusted sources 

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How to Reduce the Risk of Long COVID

Long COVID can happen after any COVID-19 infection, even mild or asymptomatic cases. Being up to date on your  COVID-19 vaccines is the first recommended step to prevent COVID-19 infection and reduces your risk of experiencing Long COVID.

In addition to vaccination, you can reduce your risk of infection by masking in crowded places (a well-fitted N95 is most protective, with a KN95 also providing good protection), washing your hands often, and avoiding large gatherings. 

If you become infected with COVID-19, contact your medical provider to discuss treatment with Paxlovid. 

Research is ongoing to find preventative treatments to reduce the development of Long COVID.

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Resources for Health Care Providers

Healthcare providers can find an overview of Long COVID information and resources, including information about clinical features, testing and diagnosis, and treatment and symptom management, at the CDC’s Clinical Overview of Long COVID

The University of California's Resources for Health Care Providers: Long COVID Education provides a series of continuing medical education modules on Long COVID. 

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Research

For an up-to-date overview of scientific research on Long COVID, including data briefs, reports, webinars, and publications, see CDC’s Science of Long COVID information hub