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When it’s not long, but medium COVID?


Common symptoms

Some commonly reported symptoms of those with enduring illness, which often overlap with other stages of COVID, are difficulty breathing, chest tightness, dry cough, chest pain, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and mood swings, Dr. Naddour said.

“We need to do an extensive assessment to make sure there’s no other problem causing these symptoms,” he said.

Still, there is no set timeline for the medium-COVID range, he noted, so checking in with a primary care physician is important for people experiencing symptoms.

It’s a continuum, not a category

Fernando Carnavali, MD, coordinator for Mount Sinai’s Center for Post-COVID Care in New York, said he is not ready to recognize a separate category for a “medium” COVID.

He noted that science can’t even agree on a name for lasting post-COVID symptoms, whether it’s “long COVID” or “long-haul COVID,” “post-COVID syndrome” or “post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC ).” There’s no agreed-upon pathophysiology or biomarker.

“That creates these gaps of understanding on where we are,” Dr. Carnavali said in an interview.

He said he understands people’s need to categorize symptoms, but rather than a middle ground he sees a continuum.

It doesn’t mean what others may call COVID’s middle ground doesn’t exist, Dr. Carnavali said: “We are in the infancy of defining this. Trying to classify them may create more anxiety.”

The clinicians interviewed for this story report no relevant financial relationships.

A version of this article first appeared on


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