Tag Archives: coronavirus

I Recovered From COVID-19. Why Am I Still Sick?


Some people have recovered from COVID-19, but months later they still have symptoms such as shortness of breath, weakness, a racing heart and trouble thinking.

If you are one of these unfortunate “long haulers,” you may continue to be sick even though you have recovered and tested negative for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Most people who get the disease make a full recovery, but it’s estimated that 10%-30% of patients continue to experience symptoms months after their initial diagnosis.

Anyone can be a long hauler

Even young people and those who had only mild cases are affected. About one in five young adults reports prolonged problems, and some people who were never hospitalized can’t climb stairs, get winded easily, and need oxygen for shortness of breath.

Doctors aren’t sure what causes these drawn-out symptoms, but an inflammatory response may be responsible. COVID-19 makes your body’s disease-fighting antibodies overreact, attacking healthy cells and damaging tissues and organs. If this inflammatory response continues, the outcome could be “long Covid” that lasts for weeks or months.

First steps toward treatment

It is not yet well understood how to treat long Covid, but anti-inflammatory drugs may be one answer. Also, doctors are finding that a program of rehabilitation can help. People with lingering fatigue can benefit from gradual exercise, including breathing exercises to increase lung capacity. And those with cognitive issues can recover with the help of a neuropsychologist. Ask your doctor about possible treatment plans.

Since COVID-19 is a relatively new disease, its long-term health effects aren’t fully understood. One thing is certain, however: the best way to avoid complications is to prevent COVID-19.

Common ‘long Covid’ symptoms

If you continue to suffer any of these symptoms after recovering from Covid-19, you may be a Covid long hauler:

  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Joint and chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain
  • Changes in smell: food may smell bad
  • Confusion, forgetfulness, trouble concentrating


Victor Plavner, M.D.Dr. Plavner is a Maryland Primary Care Physicians, LLC partner, is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine, and practices at the MPCP Arnold office. He earned his medical degree at the University of Louvain, Brussels, Belgium; and at George Washington University Medical Center.

How MPCP is Keeping You Safe During Office Visits

At the peak of the coronavirus lockdown, MPCP was seeing close to 80% of patients by telemedicine. Now, as we have transitioned back to regular office visits, we are taking every precaution to make sure you stay healthy and safe during appointments. Here are some of the things we’re doing to protect patients while continuing to meet all of your primary care needs.

Phone evaluation: Safety starts before your visit. All patients calling for appointments are asked screening questions for Covid-19. Those who have symptoms are given telemedicine visits with providers to see if testing is needed.

Check-in:  We make check-in safer by requiring all staff and patients to wear masks. After you check in, if it’s not yet time for your appointment, you may be asked to wait in your car to avoid possible exposure in the waiting room. We then call you in for your appointment.

Outdoor appointments for patients with symptoms: Patients are screened over the phone for respiratory/Covid-19 symptoms. At our Arnold office, for example, those with symptoms are scheduled for outdoor appointments at special, covered stations set up in the practice parking lot, with providers and staff wearing full PPE. If patients are suspected to have Covid-19, they are tested at the outdoor station and don’t enter the building.

Arrival screening: Patients arriving at our offices are checked for Covid-19 symptoms. At our Pasadena office, for example, patients enter through one set of doors where they are asked screening health questions and have their temperature taken. They are taken directly into exam rooms that are sanitized between each patient. They exit through separate doors.

Ongoing cleaning: For your safety, all of our offices’ waiting rooms are regularly sanitized, and exam rooms are disinfected between each patient.

Central Laboratory testing: Testing supplies are limited, so only patients meeting CDC guidelines for coronavirus infection are eligible for Covid-19 testing. For patients who are eligible to be tested and do not want to, or are unable to, be tested at their MPCP office, the test — a nasal swab – can be done in the parking lot of our Central Laboratory at our Arundel Mills office. However, all MPCP patients can get antibody testing, which requires a blood draw and shows whether you had a Covid-19 infection in the past. In both cases, results are available the next business day.

Our staff is working hard to make sure you receive the medical care you and your family need in a clean and safe environment. You can schedule an appointment at any of our offices knowing that you will receive quality care in the safest way possible. Please call your MPCP office seen if you have questions.