DOH: Compliance with health standards, vaccination best protection vs 'long COVID'

Children with their guardians wait for their turn to receive the Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11 at a gym in San Juan City, suburban Manila on February 7, 2022.
AFP/Ted Aljibe

MANILA, Philippines — Practicing minimum health standards and vaccination are the most effective ways to protect oneself against COVID-19 or even post COVID-19 condition, the Department of Health said.

In a public advisory Sunday, the DOH stressed that the best protection against any new COVID-19 variant and post COVID-19 condition—also known as “long COVID”—are wearing best fitting mask, isolating when sick, ensuring good airflow, and getting vaccinated and boosted once eligible.

“The most effective way to avoid long COVID is to avoid getting COVID-19 in the first place,” the department said.

What is long COVID?

It is the “constellation of long-term symptoms” that some people experience after they have had COVID-19, the World Health Organization said.

Current research suggests that patients can experience lingering symptoms for weeks to months following COVID-19.

Can long COVID be diagnosed?

According to the DOH, there is currently no test to diagnose long COVID. The agency advised the public to consult their doctor or healthcare provider for first aid.

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What are the common symptoms of long COVID?

  • Fatigue
     
  • Cough
     
  • Chest pain
     
  • Shortness of breath
     
  • Joint pain

The DOH said these symptoms can be experienced usually three months after being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, may last for at least two months, and cannot be explained by other conditions.

“Symptoms may be new onset after one has already recovered, or may continue from the initial COVID-19 episode,” it said.

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