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Experts are still unsure why long COVID is happening

What to expect from long COVID and its symptoms

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An illustration for the omicron variant.

Even experts aren’t sure what to expect from long COVID and its symptoms.

Illustration by Alex Cochran, Deseret News

The omicron variant of the coronavirus — like other COVID-19 variants — has led to a number of people suffering from COVID-19 symptoms months later, puzzling experts about how and why it happens.

By the numbers: About one-third of COVID-19 survivors often suffer a new symptom months later, according to a new study published in the medical journal The BMJ.

What they’re saying: “Because there are so many people infected with omicron, we expect those cases, unfortunately, will lead to more cases of long COVID,” said Jason Maley, director of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s long-COVID clinic, according to a Harvard Gazette release. “I don’t think there’s anything that has been seen about the virus itself, the omicron variant, to say that it won’t cause long COVID.”

Top symptoms: Some of the top symptoms of long COVID-19 include shortness of breath and fatigue.

  • Other symptoms — which often come after someone has recovered — include chest discomfort, severe pain, dizziness and brain fog, among others.

Treatment: Long COVID-19 symptoms “can be treated with physical rehabilitation, like shortness of breath, tend to improve the quickest, while those related to neurological impacts, such as brain fog, can linger longer,” according to the Harvard Gazette release.