There are OVER 200 long-term Covid symptoms and an average patient suffers from 56 of them, experts find
According to a global study, there may be more than 200 symptoms of long-term Covid.
Little is known about the debilitating condition, which allows survivors to battle fatigue and headaches months after beating the virus.
But researchers are now getting closer to understanding the vast array of symptoms associated with the condition and how long they last.
They say each tall Covid patient has an average of 56 different symptoms over the course of their recovery – including bizarre ailments like noticing their penis shrinking and irregular periods.
Experts from University College London surveyed nearly 4,000 ‘long-distance runners’ from around the world about their post-Covid experience.
Patients reported a mix of 203 symptoms, with participants experiencing an average of 56 different symptoms.
Researchers found that the symptoms affect 10 different organs, including the heart, lungs, brain and gut.
The researchers found that the likelihood of still having symptoms after being infected decreased over time (left). The prevalence of very mild and mild symptoms increased over time, while moderate symptoms stopped after six months. But severe and very severe symptoms became less common over time (center). People who recovered 90 days after contracting Covid found that their symptoms gradually improved, but for those who still had problems after 90 days, they found that their symptoms did not improve after six months (right)
Fatigue was the most common symptom, affecting an estimated 535,000 people, followed by shortness of breath reaching 397,000 and muscle pain reaching 309,000, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Fatigue was the most common symptom, with 98.3 percent of those surveyed over the age of 18 suffering from it.
This was followed by post-exertional malaise (89 percent), which is the worsening of symptoms after physical or mental exertion, and brain fog (85.1 percent).
WHAT ARE THE LONG-LASTING SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?
Most coronavirus patients recover within 14 days, develop a fever, cough and lose their sense of smell or taste for several days.
However, evidence is beginning to emerge that tell-tale symptoms of the virus can persist for weeks in “long transporters” — the term for patients plagued with lasting complications.
Data from the Covid Symptom Study app, by King’s College London and health company Zoe, suggest that one in 10 people still have symptoms after three weeks, and some can suffer from them for months.
Long-term symptoms include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Increased heart rate
- to succeed
- Loss of taste/odor
- kidney disease
- Mobility issues
- muscle strain
For those with more severe illness, Italian researchers who followed 143 people hospitalized with the illness found that nearly 90 percent still had symptoms, including fatigue, two months after they first felt unwell.
The most common complaints were fatigue, shortness of breath and joint pain – all of which were reported during their battle with the disease.
Others reported hallucinations, tremors, itchy skin, menstrual cycle changes, sexual dysfunction, palpitations, diarrhea and ringing in the ears.
Not all reported symptoms will certainly be caused by long-term Covid, as the study was based only on reactions from affected patients – meaning overreporting is possible.
Experts found that 96 percent of volunteers had symptoms for three months, while 91.8 percent still had symptoms after eight months.
People who recovered faster had few symptoms — up to a maximum of 11 at a time — but people who had the condition for more than seven months got up to 17 symptoms at a time.
The report – published today in the EClinicalMedicine journal of the Lancet – is the largest international study of long-term Covid patients.
The research team, which collaborated with UCL scientists, all have long-term Covid illness and want the clinical guidelines for assessing the condition to be expanded as many patients “suffer in silence.”
The NHS lists 21 different symptoms for the condition, including fatigue, shortness of breath and chest pain.
Studies estimate that up to 30 percent of people with symptomatic Covid are still suffering 12 weeks later.
Doctors can diagnose lung Covid by asking patients about their symptoms. There is currently no cure for the condition, so patients are given advice on how to manage their symptoms on their own.
dr. Athena Akrami, senior author of the study, said: ‘While there has been much public discussion around long-term Covid, there are few systematic studies examining this population.
‘Therefore, relatively little is known about the range of symptoms and their progression over time, their severity and the expected clinical course (lifespan), the impact on daily functioning and the expected return to basic health.
“In this unique approach, we went directly to long-haul carriers around the world to establish a foundation of evidence for medical research, improving care and advocacy for the long-term Covid population.
“This is the most comprehensive characterization of long-term Covid symptoms to date.”
NHS England has already made 89 clinics to provide specialist care and partnered with the National Institute of Health Research to provide £50 million to fund research into the condition.
Meanwhile, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published guidelines for physicians on managing the condition.