Scientists from King’s College London have identified the main signs that may indicate a high risk of a prolonged course of COVID-19.
The research preprint was published on the medrxiv portal. As noted in the article, some COVID-19 patients get sick for weeks or months. According to them, such cases are difficult to study, since not all patients were correctly diagnosed due to atypical symptoms or problems with tests.
Scientists examined more than 4,000 coronavirus patients in Sweden,558 people had signs of COVID-19 for four weeks, a threshold that scientists mark as a case of “long-term COVID-19.” At the same time, in 189 people the symptoms did not go away for eight weeks, and another 95 people reported that even after three months they had not fully recovered.
The study found that people with more than five symptoms in the first week of illness were more likely to develop “long-term COVID-19.” In addition, scientists have listed patterns that most likely indicate this course of COVID-19: fatigue, headache, as well as shortness of breath, sore throat, incessant cough and loss of smell.
Muscle pains were reported by patients examined by Indiana University professor Natalie Lambert. In an interview with Business Insider, she said that out of 1,500 people with “long-term coronavirus,” two-thirds complained of muscle and body pain. A similar proportion spoke of breathing problems, and about 58 percent reported a symptom such as headache.
In addition, about 22 percent of participants over 70 reported long-term symptoms, while 10 percent of people aged 18 to 49 reported. Patients with a high body mass index were also at risk of “prolonged COVID-19”.
Senior study author Claire Stevens said it is important to use the knowledge gained during the first wave of coronavirus, and the study, in her opinion, will help in developing strategies for preventing or treating “long-term coronavirus disease.”