Long Covid patients and the effects of heat

Patients with Post-Acute Covid Syndrome (or Long-term COVID-19) are at greater risk of suffering from the effects of heat. How to protect yourself from the Covid-19 pandemic in this period? The vademecum of the Ministry of Health

For those suffering from Long Covid - people who, despite recovery from the disease and negativity to the tampon, live with debilitating multi-organ symptoms that do not recover after months - there is "a greater risk of suffering the effects of heat". This is what we read in Summer 2021 Activity Plan in relation to Covid-19 of the Italian Ministry of Health, which also emphasizes a lower tolerance to high summer temperatures for this type of patient.

What is Long Covid Syndrome?

The time it takes to recover from SARS-CoV-2 infection, i.e. from the disease called COVID-19, differs from person to person: most recover completely within two months but some disorders (symptoms) and clinical manifestations may last longer than long. In this case it is said that people suffer from Long COVID, an English term that is commonly used to indicate the set of clinical disorders that persist after infection. The possibility of symptoms lasting over time does not seem to be related to how bad you were during the infection. It can also happen that people who have had a mild form of COVID-19 can develop long-term problems. (source: Higher Institute of Health)

Long Covid patients and the effects of heat

Some recent case studies suggest a lower heat tolerance of people who have developed post Covid syndrome (Post-Acute Covid Syndrome (PACS) - long-term COVID-19), characterized, even months after infection, by symptoms such as difficulty in breathing and cough, or other disorders such as palpitations, weakness, fever, sleep disturbances, dizziness, delirium (in elderly people), trouble of concentration, gastrointestinal, anxiety and depression.

In this regard, the text, developed by the ministry with the National Center for Disease Prevention and Control (Ccm) and the Department of Epidemiology SSR Lazio Region, illustrates the surveillance planning for heat waves and underlines the particular condition of people recovered from Covid.

How to protect yourself from the heat during the Covid-19 epidemic

Out of the house

  • Avoid exposure to heat and direct sun: high temperatures and humidity cannot prevent the risk of infection, while they can cause symptoms associated with heat and burns.
  • Go out in the cooler hours, keeping a distance of at least one meter from other people. When available, use i hand sanitizing gels. Wear protective equipment according to the regulations in force, even if it is hot.
  • Go to public places such as parks and gardens in the coolest hours of the day, always respecting safety distances. Avoid crowded places.

At home

  • Ensuring adequate air exchange is useful for reducing the risk of virus transmission: natural ventilation determines the best air exchange compared to mechanical ventilation.
  • Make sure that the rooms where you stay longer are kept cool. If you use an air conditioner, clean the filters and in any case ventilate the room often
  • Follow good home hygiene rules, favoring alcohol or bleach-based detergents to eliminate possible traces of the virus

For those most vulnerable

  • Stay at home, both to protect yourself from the heat and to limit the risk of infection.
  • Ensure assistance and continuity of therapies. Do not suspend ongoing therapies.
  • Find out about the new ways to follow for those with a chronic disease so that they can carry out the necessary scheduled visits, therapies or clinical analyzes.
  • Make sure that vulnerable family, friends and neighbors living alone have help with shopping and medication. 

Pathologies associated with heat


  • Strong sweating and thirst
  • Dry skin and mucous membranes
  • Reduced diuresis, dark urine

Muscle cramps, leg edema, fainting, dizziness

Heat stress

  • Malaise, tachycardia
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Headache, confusion

Heat stroke

  • Headache, tachycardia
  • Hyperventilation
  • Temperature
  • Artmie, shock


Italian Ministry of Health

Summer 2021 Activity Plan in relation to the COVID19 epidemic


Long-Term Covid - Special Editorial on Neurology Journals

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)


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