Long COVID-19

Although most people recover from COVID-19 within a few weeks, others notice longer-lasting symptoms or symptoms that return for weeks or months after their initial infection. Of more than 50 reported long COVID-19 symptoms, the most common include fatigue, shortness of breath, coughing, “brain fog," sleep or mood disturbances, headaches, joint or muscle pain and persistent loss of taste or smell. Physical, cognitive and emotional symptoms have been reported to last for weeks, months or more than a year. This condition is sometimes referred to as long-haul COVID-19, post-acute COVID syndrome or post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC).

It is estimated that between 10-30% of individuals who were diagnosed with COVID-19 are dealing with symptoms of long COVID worldwide.

Essentia Health offers specialists and treatments to help those whose symptoms persist for weeks or months after their initial COVID-19 infection. Essentia's post-COVID-19 rehab program can help improve symptoms and daily functioning through physical, speech and occupational therapies, and psychology.

When and how to seek help

Health care providers can recommend rehab services for patients displaying symptoms for four to six weeks or longer who have experienced a decline in daily functioning. Patients can also inquire about the services directly during a conversation with their primary care provider.

Our approach

Essentia Health is using a multidisciplinary, collaborative approach to treatment long COVID-19 symptoms. Primary care providers can help patients find the right team of specialists to assist with specific symptoms. A care team may include any of the following:

  • Physical therapists help patients with fatigue, balance and dizziness.
  • Speech therapists assist with symptoms of “brain fog,” concentration and attention concerns, and word-finding difficulties.
  • Occupational therapists help those who struggle with daily tasks, vision symptoms, schedule management and energy conservation.
  • Health psychologists assist with mood symptoms, psychosocial stressors and disability adjustment.
  • Other specialists may include pulmonary medicine, cardiology, behavioral health and neuropsychology.

Personalizing your treatment

For those who have lingering symptoms of COVID-19 – four to six weeks of symptoms with persistent inability to return to pre-COVID activities – speak to your primary care provider, who can help you get started with treatment to help you feel better.

Learn more about long COVID-19

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Post-COVID Conditions | CDC
Minnesota Department of Health Long COVID-Minnesota Department of Health (state.mn.us)
Wisconsin Department of Health Services COVID-19: COVID-19: Post-COVID Conditions 


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