New research identifies six subtypes of long Covid
Long Covid victim discusses daily impact of virus
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Now, three years on, researchers have collated sufficient data on the serious public health problem. Jackson Laboratory Professor Peter Robinson, M.D., M.Sc., and Predoctoral Associate Ben Coleman have been investigating long Covid using 20,532 electronic health records in America. All patients involved in the research had received an official post Covid diagnosis.
Their analysis had identified six subtypes of long Covid that could inform treatment strategies.
Six subtypes of long Covid
- Associated with severe initial infection and a high frequency of multiple symptoms, such as: fatigue, vertigo, and lab test abnormalities.
- Hypoxemia (low level of oxygen in the blood) and cough.
- Neuropsychiatric, such as headache, insomnia, depression, movement abnormalities.
- Cardiovascular issues
- Pain and fatigue
- Multi-system pain, but without lab test abnormalities.
Each cluster has different age, gender and race frequencies associated with it, as well as different prior co-morbidities and conditions.
The findings underscore the possibility that the mechanisms of long Covid may vary among individuals based on a collection of baseline risk factors.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) says “most people” recover from long Covid within three months.
Yet, for a lot of people, they have experienced ongoing long Covid symptoms, which can “relapse over time”.
Four of the most commonly reported long Covid symptoms are:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Breathlessness or shortness of breath
- Muscle aches.
Research has identified numerous long Covid symptoms, from chest tightness to heart palpitations.
Heart and circulatory symptoms include chest pain and changes to heart rate.
Another cluster of symptoms include muscle and joint pain, which can include pain in the back or shoulders.
Cognitive symptoms can include brain fog, headaches, hallucinations, amnesia, dizziness, pins and needles, and difficulty with speech.
Long Covid has also been associated with mental health effects, such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Respiratory symptoms are also included, such as a persistent cough, sore throat, and difficult breathing.
Then there’s digestive issues, such as stomach pain, diarrhoea, vomiting, and bowel incontinence.
Additional long Covid symptoms could include:
- Changes to sense of smell or taste
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- A high temperature
- Feeling hot and cold
- Heavy arms or legs
- Hair loss
- Skin rashes.
The BHF says: “There have been reports of long Covid symptoms lasting from three months, up to two years or more.
“There is growing evidence that getting vaccinated could help with pre-existing long Covid symptoms.”
People who are struggling with long Covid symptoms are advised to book a doctor’s appointment.
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