Published: Volume 6, Issue 43
The term ‘long Covid’ refers to a series of symptoms, such as fatigue, rapid breathing and even a poor mental response, experienced after contracting coronavirus.
The symptoms appear 12 weeks or more after being diagnosed with the virus and accompany the person for a long time or ‘for life.’ This is suspected by various scientists who have studied this condition that emerged in the pandemic.
A new study, carried out in the Netherlands and published in The Lancet journal, points out that ‘long Covid’ affects one in eight people who developed Covid-19.
And when taking into account the more than 558 million infected in the world, to date, the scientists ‘estimate translates into 70 million people with ‘long Covid.’
The new study analyzed more than 76,000 people, between March 2020 and August 2021, with the presence of new, more aggressive variants such as delta and omicron.
The most characteristic symptoms of ‘long Covid’ are:
- Chest pain
- Breathing difficulties
- Sensation of a lump in the throat
- Pain when breathing
- Muscle pains
- Heaviness in arms and legs
- Loss of taste and smell
- Alternating hot and cold sensations
- Tingling in the extremities
- Overall tiredness
The effects of ‘long Covid’on the brain
There are other effects of ‘long Covid’ that scientists continue to investigate with more emphasis, such as so-called ‘mental fog.’
It is about the cognitive difficulties that can appear due to persistent Covid-19, that is, the virus has a significant impact on the brain.
Another study, this time from the University of Oxford, analyzed data from 125,000 patients. It concluded that this mental fog was present in 6.4% of the people studied, between 18 and 64 years old.
“The results have important implications for health services, because they suggest that new cases of neurological conditions could be related to Covid-19,” Paul Harrison, lead author of the study, told The Financial Times.
But Harrison also acknowledged that science still knows very little about ‘long Covid,’ and that at the moment there are more questions than answers.