Lasting fatigue a symptom of long COVID, expert says

Many people who contracted COVID-19 during the sixth wave complained of lasting symptoms, sometimes known as long COVID, which Dr. Sohail Gandhi said can result in low energy or extreme fatigue.

"That seems to be the biggest and most burdensome symptom of all," said the Stayner physician and former president of the Ontario Medical Association.

Gandhi noted other symptoms, including muscle aches, difficulty thinking, and a chronic cough but said many patients in his practice came back to the same issue: constant exhaustion.

"It's something that just takes a period of time to recover from," he said.

Gandhi said fighting long COVID could be challenging for those suffering with daily fatigue.

"It's really important to eat right. It's important to try as hard as you can to get some exercise, even if it's going out for a walk."

He said the sixth wave is on a downward trajectory, with the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals decreasing in Ontario and ICU admissions easing.

"I think it's a very positive sign that our ICU numbers did not, in fact, go as high as some people thought about when the mask mandate was lifted a few weeks ago."

He remarked that this is a sign of a highly vaccinated society and anticipates ICU numbers will continue to drop over the coming months.

Still, Gandhi is monitoring subvariants found in South Africa.

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And while he is concerned to see reports of new variants, Gandhi said it's going to be part of living with the virus.

"We are going to see new variants of COVID every so often, and we just need to learn how to manage with that as a society."

Gandhi said he expects an annual vaccine would be necessary as the virus continually changes.