What can I do?

Long COVID poses a variety of challenges for those affected - both health-related and social. To support you in managing your symptoms and other questions, Altea permanently develops Guidebooks. The topics can be grouped into different categories, as shown by the keywords below. The Guidebooks on symptoms are highlighted in yellow, those on social issues in blue. The offer of Guidebooks is constantly being expanded.

Appetite and Digestion

This symptom group includes complaints such as nausea, diarrhea, cravings or, conversely, loss of appetite. Appetite can be affected by "Taste and smell" disturbances, or it can be independent.


Since COVID-19 attacks the airways, shortness of breath and dyspnoea can occur during the acute infection, but also afterwards. Fear and feelings of suffocation or the limitation of physical performance can seriously affect everyday life.
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Cardiovascular System

Above all, this group of symptoms includes sudden, strong palpitations, which can occur without prior exertion, for example when falling asleep. A high heart rate and circulatory problems have also been observed.


A feeling of dizziness, possibly in combination with balance problems, is also described by those affected as a symptom of Long COVID. Dizziness can also manifest itself as a feeling of lightheadedness, as if you are about to pass out.


"Fatigue" describes a great amount of exhaustion that does not go away even with a lot of sleep. Such an all-encompassing fatigue is also known from other viral diseases. It is important to avoid, if possible, that the exhaustion becomes chronic.
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Kidneys and Bladder

Kidney and bladder problems include: urgency (overactive bladder, with sudden desire to void often difficult to defer), urge incontinence (urine leaks before the patient reaches the toilet), frequency (need to urinate eight or more times a day), nocturia (need to urinate two or more times a night).


Legal aspects are of primary importance when it comes to Long COVID: how to deal with insurance companies? How to receive daily sickness allowances? Are certificates of incapacity for work available? What role does a diagnosis play in these legal aspects?
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Mental Health

Long COVID can affect mental health in all its forms. Symptoms include feeling out of balance, anxiety, panic attacks, and depression, and decreased resilience, such as when dealing with pain.
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This is one of the most common group of symptoms. These include muscle, limb and joint pain, stomach and chest pain, cramps and stiffness, or headaches and migraine attacks. Pain and tightness can also occur in the area of the lungs.
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In these guidebooks the key messages for patients from the recommendations on post-COVID management for primary care physicians are summarized. The full version of the recommendation is available on here.
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Sexual and Reproductive Health

Long COVID can affect sexuality. Symptoms include decreased desire and increased pain. Erectile dysfunction has been reported in men. Changes in menstruation and premenstrual syndrome have been reported in women.

Skin and hair

Various dermatological complaints have been observed: These include, for example, rashes, pustules on the cheeks, hives (severe redness / wheals on the skin with itching), changes in the tongue ("COVID tongue") or hair loss.
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Due to Long COVID, both issues with falling asleep and staying asleep can occur. Those who lie awake before falling asleep or in the middle of the night are more likely to be physically and mentally tired during the day. This can also unbalance the sleeping / waking rhythm.
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Taste and Smell

COVID-19 can cause a change or loss of taste and/or smell. For example, foods may appear tasteless or have a different taste or smell. This disorder can resolve itself or persist over time.
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Thinking and perception

Difficulty concentrating and being unusually forgetful are possible cognitive symptoms of Long COVID. This also includes slowness in thinking or difficulty in expressing yourself. Impairment of the eyes has also been described.
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Throat, nose, ears

This group includes cold symptoms such as a sore throat, cough, earache, headache or fever. Tinnitus has also been reported. The dry cough that is characteristic of COVID-19 can in some cases become permanent.
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People affected by Long COVID report feeling weak: physically with reduced performance (muscle weakness) and mentally with apathy and listlessness. Some can hardly walk, others have to force themselves enormously to perform every activity.
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Going back to work can be very different depending on the symptoms and occupation and can be a challenge for both employees and employers.
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The following people supported us with their technical expertise in creating the Guidebook section:

  • All those affected people who help with the development of Altea by sharing their experiences and needs;
  • Dr. med. Otto Brändli,specialist in Internal Medicine, Pulmonology and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, ApoDoc Hardbrücke Zürich practice and adjunct (visiting) professor, Bellevue Hospital, NYU Medical Center, New York, USA;
  • Dr. phil. Johannes Glarner, Yogi, Yoga Therapist, Lecturer in Yoga;
  • Helena Hefti Wenger, Wim Hof Instructor & breathing trainer;
  • Nicole Kessler, dipl. Physiotherapist FH, dipl. AEK therapist (acupressure and energetic bodywork according to Coaz);
  • Brigitte Ruff, complementary therapist with a federal diploma in respiratory therapy, recognized supervisor OdA KT, respiratory therapist after Middendorf and after Buteyko, trainer NeuroScanBalance, certified nurse AKP;