Coronavirus: Who is most likely to suffer long Covid symptoms?

Coronavirus: Who is most likely to suffer long Covid symptoms?
Coronavirus: Who is most likely to suffer long Covid symptoms?

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - New study shows some people with Covid-19 endure shocking symptoms such as hair loss for weeks after.

Scientists in the UK have uncovered the risks of suffering the phenomenon known as 'long Covid' - long-lasting symptoms of Covid-19.

King's College London researchers estimate that one in 20 people are sick with the novel coronavirus for at least eight weeks.

They say old age and a wide array of initial symptoms increase the risk of enduring Covid-19 for an extended period of time.

Being female, overweight and having asthma also increases the risk of suffering 'long Covid'.

The research, which uses data from the Covid Symptom Study App currently being used by 4.3 million Britons, suggested 'long Covid' affects around 10 per cent of 18 to 49-year-olds who become indisposed with coronavirus.

Public Health England (PHE) discovered that around 10 per cent of people with Covid-19, who were not hospitalised, had revealed symptoms lasting more than four weeks.

The symptoms of long Covid include extreme fatigue, prolonged loss of taste or smell, respiratory and cardiovascular symptoms, and mental health problems.

They also include hair loss, pain and inflammation throughout the body, rashes and blood-clotting issues.

According to BBC News, scientists scoured the data for patterns that could predict who would get long-lasting illness.

The results, which are set to be published online, illustrate that long Covid can affect anyone, but some factors do increase the risk.

"Having more than five different symptoms in the first week was one of the key risk factors," Dr Claire Steves, from Kings College London, told BBC News.

As per BBC News' report, somebody who had a cough, fatigue, headache and diarrhoea, and lost their sense of smell - which are all potential symptoms - would be at higher risk than somebody who had a cough alone.

The risk also rises with age - particularly over 50 - as did being female.

Dr Steves said: "We've seen from the early data coming out that men were at much more risk of very severe disease and sadly of dying from Covid, it appears that women are more at risk of long Covid."

No previous medical conditions were linked to long Covid except asthma and lung disease.

Fatigue is common in long-Covid sufferers, but symptoms vary from one patient to the next.

The exact symptoms of long-Covid vary from one patient to the next, but fatigue is typical.

Vicky Bourne, 48, started off with a fever and a "pathetic little cough" in March, which became "absolutely terrifying" when she struggled to breathe and needed to be given oxygen by a paramedic.

She was not hospitalised but is still - in October - living with long Covid.

Vicky's health is improving, but her vision has changed and she still gets "waves" of more serious illness. Even walking the dog makes her suffer, so much so that she can't talk at the same time.

She told the BBC: "I have strange, almost arthritic joints and weirdly, two weeks ago, I lost my sense of taste and smell again, it just went completely.

"It's almost like there's inflammation in my body that's bouncing around and it can't quite get rid of it, so it just pops up and then it goes away and pops up and goes away."

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