ONE in eight adults infected during the pandemic is suffering from long-term Covid symptoms, new research has revealed.
The new data shows that several “core symptoms” of those who suffered from long-term Covid were new or even more severe three to five months after infection.
Researchers from the Netherlands surveyed more than 76,000 participants twenty-four times between March 2020 and August 2021 about the 23 known symptoms of long-term Covid.
During the study, which predates the rollout of the vaccine, 4,321 participants who participated tested positive for Covid-19 caused by Alpha or earlier variants.
They were matched for age and gender with a control group of 8,462 participants.
The Covid vaccination was found to reduce the risk of long-term Covid, while the Omicron variant seemed less likely than the Delta variant to cause long-term Covid.
The symptoms of those affected by long Covid months after infection include chest pain, difficulty breathing, pain when breathing, aching muscles, loss of taste and/or smell, tingling hands/feet, a lump in throat, alternating hot and cold feeling, heavy arms and/or legs and general tiredness.
The severity of symptoms stopped after three months since the infection and did not decrease further.
The data is published in the peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet.
The lead author of the paper Professor Judith Rosmalen of the University of Groningen warned that there is an ‘urgent need’ for more data to inform the size and scope of people suffering from long-term symptoms.
She said: “Most previous research on long-term Covid has not looked at the frequency of these symptoms in people who have not been diagnosed with Covid-19, or at the symptoms of individual patients before Covid-19 diagnosis.”
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