A growing, secondary health crisis from the COVID-19 pandemic is emerging—the up to 3 million COVID-19 survivors who could be left with chronic health problems postinfection.1 Post–COVID-19 conditions are a wide range of new, returning, or worsening symptoms that COVID-19 survivors can experience 4 or more weeks postinfection—which is referred to as long-haul COVID.2 
"I can’t overstate how serious this issue is for the health of our nation.1

— Francis Collins, MD, PhD, Director, National Institutes of Health 
CDC: evaluating and caring for patients with long-haul COVID
New interim guidance from the CDC recommends laboratory testing for patients with post–COVID-19 conditions, such as long-haul COVID, be guided by the patient history, physical examination, and clinical findings.3 Testing is broken down into 2 categories:
Managing patients with long-haul COVID with symptom based testing 
As the pandemic continues to evolve, Quest Diagnostics is committed to leading in the battle against COVID-19 and meeting the nation’s need for testing and answers when it matters most. 

Our industry-leading team of medical and scientific experts have developed evidence-based symptom tests to help you and your patients find a path forward as they recover from long-haul COVID. The tests are based on the commonly reported long-haul COVID symptoms. They also align with CDC guidance and are supported by current literature. 

Practitioners may consider a variety of testing approaches based on the needs of individual patients. Below are some of the tests you may find helpful in developing a better understanding of your patients’ current health status. 
Diagnostic testing to consider in patients with long-haul COVID, based on current CDC guidance3 and supported by current literature4  
Note: we also have panels available for your ordering convenience.
Post–COVID-19, Basic Evaluation Testing
Individual tests available:
Panels available:
  • Post–COVID-19 Panel — To be considered for persistent symptoms if basic testing such as CBC, BMP, and LFT has been completed 
Post–COVID-19, Joint Pain/Rheumatological
Individual tests available:
Panel available:
Post–COVID-19, Hematological/Coagulation
Individual tests available:
Panel available:
Post–COVID-19, Cardiac versus Pulmonary
a  Panel components may be ordered separately. 
b Quest Diagnostics has validated the use of this assay under CLIA for processing specimens more than 8 hours after collection, up to 54 hours. 
Identifying long-haul COVID  
While many patients with COVID-19 recover after just a few weeks, millions of those who have recovered struggle to regain their health, with a range of ongoing symptoms and conditions that affect almost every aspect of daily life.

Up to 30% of patients may experience post–COVID-19 conditions such as long-haul COVID.5 Long-haul COVID is not a “one-size-fits-all” condition. While much remains unknown about long-haul COVID, recent studies and research are identifying some common patterns in those who survived the infection.
Approximately 19%
of long-haul COVID patients were asymptomatic5
Nearly 50%
of hospitalized patients reported at least 1 post–COVID-19 condition5
Approximately 19%
of long-haul patients had pre-existing conditions— hypertension, chronic lung disease, and cancer were the most common6
Long-haul is more common in females than males6
47 years old
Average age of a long-haul patient5
Commonly reported long-haul COVID symptoms   
While some other post–COVID-19 conditions are more common in people who had severe illness, long-haul COVID symptoms can occur in any survivor, regardless of the severity of their infection.2 Symptoms can linger for weeks and months, and have serious impact on a patient’s quality of life. Commonly reported long-haul COVID symptoms include2,4
Tiredness/fatigue, Brain fog, Headache, PTSDDepression or anxiety, Sleep disturbances,
Joint or muscle pain/weakness, Hair loss
Heart palpitations or chest pain, Thromboembolism
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, cough, Loss of smell or taste
Chronic kidney disease
Latest news and resources    
Below is a collection of the latest news and information on long-haul COVID that you may find helpful. As part of our groundbreaking response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to empower better insights and knowledge with regular updates that will help you make more informed decisions for your patients with long-haul COVID. 
CDC information 
Journal articles/white papers  
News articles   
Inside the NIH’s study on long-haul COVID patients 
Treating long-haul COVID: a clinician’s experience with post-acute COVID-19 care 
Treating long-haul COVID: a clinician’s experience with post-acute COVID-19 care 
Virtual grand rounds: Post-acute COVID syndrome – in it for the long haul?  
COVID’s long-haulers 

  1. Goodman B. CDC to issue guidelines as long-haul COVID numbers rise. WebMD. Published April 28, 2021. Accessed July 7, 2021. https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20210429/cdc-to-issue-guidelines-as-long-haul-covid-numbers-rise 
  2. CDC. Post-COVID conditions. Updated July 12, 2021. Accessed August 5, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/long-term-effects.html 
  3. CDC. Assessment and testing. Evaluating and caring for patients with post-COVID conditions: interim guidance. Updated June 14, 2021. Accessed August 5, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-care/post-covid-assessment-testing.html 
  4. Nalbandian A, Sehgal K, Gupta A, et al. Post-acute COVID-19 syndrome. Nat Med. 2021;27(4):601-615. doi:10.1038/s41591-021-01283-z 
  5. FAIR Health, Inc. A detailed study of patients with long-haul COVID: an analysis of private healthcare claims FairHealth.com. Published June 15, 2021. Accessed July 2, 2021. https://s3.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/media2.fairhealth.org/whitepaper/asset/A%20Detailed%20Study%20of%20Patients%20with%20 Long-Haul%20COVID--An%20Analysis%20of%20Private%20Healthcare%20Claims--A%20FAIR%20Health%20White%20Paper.pdf 
  6. Augustin M, Schommers P, Stecher M, et al. Post-COVID syndrome in non-hospitalized patients with COVID-19: a longitudinal prospective cohort study. Lancet. 2021;6(100122). doi:10.1016/j.lanepe.2021.100122 
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