A percentage of people who recover from Covid-19 experience a set of symptoms – a post Covid syndrome – that is raising concern, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during a live video interview with The Washington Post national political reporter Robert Costa on Monday.
For people who get seriously ill and are in an ICU intubated on ventilation, “even if it isn’t Covid-19, anyone that goes through that is not going to feel perfectly normal for a considerable period of time,” Fauci said.
“But there’s something else that’s going on with Covid-19,” he continued.
Even in people who haven’t necessarily had serious disease, Fauci said that they are finding anywhere from 20% to maybe 30% of people who have had symptomatic disease “have what’s called a post-Covid syndrome.” The exact percentage isn’t known yet, but a larger cohort study is being done, he said.
“Namely, they no longer have virus in them, they can’t infect anybody, but it takes them anywhere from weeks to months – and maybe even beyond – to feel perfectly normal,” he said.
“They have a constellation of symptoms and signs that seem to be consistent when you talk to different people,” he said. These include extreme fatigue, shortness of breath – even among people who are athletes – temperature control problems, sleep disturbances and sometimes what is described as brain fog, or difficulty focusing or concentrating.
“So, there are these effects that we’re concerned about,” Fauci said.