People with “long COVID” should avoid rapid posture changes to avoid worsening symptoms, Ooi Hean (黃軒), a pulmonologist and deputy director of China Medical University Hospital’s International Center, said on Friday.
Citing a study by Dutch scientists Linda van Campen and Franz Visser, Ooi wrote on Facebook that people with long-term health problems induced by COVID-19 are at a high risk of developing postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS).
When people with POTS sit or stand up, their heartbeat increases by 30 or up to 120 beats per minute, resulting in dizziness, headache, fatigue, nausea or an inability to concentrate, he said.
These symptoms are nearly identical to the effects of long COVID, he said.
The Netherlands-based study utilized three groups: people with long COVID; people with stage IV herpes who had exposure to COVID-like illnesses, and a control group, he said.
When making rapid changes in posture, 100 percent of subjects with COVID-19 displayed POTS symptoms, while 43 percent of the subjects with herpes reported the same symptoms, he said.
Additionally, the former group saw blood flow to the brain drop by 39 to 47 percent, while the latter experienced a decline of 26 to 36 percent, he said.
People with persistent health problems stemming from COVID-19 should take care in transitioning between postures, as a spell of vertigo or other symptoms of POTS could cause them to fall, he said.
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