Even though it's been around a year and a half since the first nationwide lockdown put COVID-19 well and truly on everyone's radar, the symptoms of the virus are still ever-changing. We've mostly been told to look out for a new cough, fever and/or loss of taste or smell, but the newer variants have also reportedly seen people experience a runny nose and sore throat too.
As time moves on, we're also learning more about a very unfortunate repercussion of coronavirus known as Long Covid, which is when a person who is ill with the virus continues to experience symptoms (notably fatigue, continued shortness of breath and distorted senses) for four weeks or more, according to the NHS website.
Now, a major new study - of over 3,700 people in 56 countries - has found that there are up to 200 symptoms associated with Long Covid, and some of them certainly aren't as widely discussed as those mentioned above. The research, conducted on patients the world over, found that brain fog, tinnitus, tremors and even hallucinations were reported by some participants.
The study, lead by Athena Akrami, a neuroscientist at University College London, concluded that the symptoms spanned ten of the body’s organ systems, and that a third of the symptoms continued to impact sufferers for at least half a year.
After publishing their work, the researchers are urging Long Covid support facilities to take note of the extra symptoms identified (of which they recorded 203 in total). Akrami said of the findings, "A lot of post-Covid clinics in the UK have focused on respiratory rehabilitation. It’s true that a lot of people have shortness of breath, but they also have a lot of other problems and types of symptoms that the clinics need to provide a more holistic approach to."
As reported by The Guardian, she added, "There are likely to be tens of thousands of Long Covid patients suffering in silence, unsure that their symptoms are connected to COVID-19.
"Building on the network of Long Covid clinics, which take GP referrals, we now believe a national programme could be rolled out into communities able to screen, diagnose and treat all those suspected of having Long Covid symptoms."
The NHS website lists the common Long Covid symptoms as:
Extreme tiredness (fatigue)
Shortness of breath
Chest pain or tightness
Problems with memory and concentration ("brain fog")
Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
Pins and needles
Depression and anxiety
Tinnitus and earaches
Feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches, loss of appetite
A high temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat, changes to sense of smell or taste
Other effects found by the study included visual hallucinations, tremors, itchy skin, changes to the menstrual cycle, sexual dysfunction, heart palpitations, bladder control issues, shingles, memory loss, blurred vision, diarrhoea and tinnitus.
For support, reach out to your GP or visit the Your Covid Recovery website.
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