COVID-19 Archive


Warding off germs this winter: What's helpful, what's not

Some habits are essential to stave off respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses during the winter. Such habits include washing hands frequently, getting vaccinations, wearing a face mask in crowded indoor spaces, and using caution around sick loved ones. However, some habits probably don't make much of a difference and may be unnecessary. Those habits include washing groceries, cleaning a smartphone, removing shoes before entering a home, changing into clean clothes after being out, and wearing a rubber glove to touch a bank ATM or gas pump.

Do I need any more COVID vaccinations?

Who should get COVID vaccine boosters and when will remain in flux for at least another year. This summer, the FDA instructed the vaccine makers to have the next COVID vaccine target the XBB.1.5 Omicron subvariant. The CDC will be issuing specific recommendations by October, but infectious disease experts expect the newer vaccine to provide the most benefit for people over 65 and those younger with chronic conditions.

Fall shots: Who's most vulnerable to RSV, COVID, and the flu?

Learn which vaccines can help protect you against serious illness and hospitalization from RSV, COVID, and the flu this fall.


How can I avoid long COVID?

Tens of millions of people who've had COVID-19 suffer with persisting symptoms. The condition is called long COVID. Symptoms, such as fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and disrupted sleep, can seriously impair the ability to function at work and at home. Vaccines and antiviral drugs appear to offer some protection against getting long COVID. But more information is needed. The National Institutes of Health has committed over $1 billion to discover how to better diagnose, effectively treat, and ultimately prevent long COVID.

COVID-19's cardiac legacy: An update

COVID-19 may increase the risk of cardiovascular problems, including heart attack, stroke, pulmonary embolism, atrial fibrillation, and heart failure, up to a year after the infection. But vaccination appears to lower these risks. Getting just one dose of a COVID vaccine may halve the risk of myocarditis, a rare condition that causes inflammation of the heart muscle that can arise after viral infections.

Lessons learned from COVID

While the COVID pandemic changed how many people approached their health, the experience offers a teachable moment about how people can maintain new and improved healthy habits. Four areas that were most affected by COVID and enabled people to create positive changes are exercise, diet, medical check-ups, and social connections.

Healthy habits might ward off long COVID

A 2023 study suggests that women who practice many aspects of a healthy lifestyle are about half as likely as women who don't to experience persistent symptoms after a COVID-19 infection.

Did COVID cause my shortness of breath?

While shortness of breath can be caused by several ailments, the most common are a lung issue, a heart problem, anemia (low red blood cell count), or deconditioning. Even if the cause remains unclear, a doctor can create a treatment plan to improve symptoms.

Can long COVID affect the gut?

Some people who have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19  have experienced lingering effects like low energy and brain fog. Could gastrointestinal problems be another aftereffect of the virus?

Vaccination may protect against long COVID

Getting at least one dose of a COVID vaccine lowers the risk of developing long COVID even among people who were previously unvaccinated and recovered from COVID.

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