Covid infection generates a myriad of long-term symptoms, some of which persist well beyond six months. But are they really due to the Covid?
The largest study of people with long-term Covid (symptoms lasting more than four weeks after initial infection) reveals an extremely complex pathology, with a myriad of symptoms as diverse as memory loss, tremors, tinnitus, itching, menstrual cycle disorders, palpitations or even blurred vision and diarrhea. A total of 203 different symptoms have been reported.
The study, published in the journal ClinicalMedicine from The Lancet, interviewed 3,762 people with confirmed or suspected long-term Covid in 56 countries. The 2,454 patients still showing symptoms beyond six months (65% of the sample) had an average of 13.8 symptoms and just 233 patients (6%) were fully recovered.
« Many post-Covid services have focused on respiratory rehabilitation. It is true that many patients suffer from shortness of breath, but they also have many other types of symptoms that doctors need to provide a more comprehensive approach to. Insists Athena Akrami, a neuroscientist at theUniversity College from London and lead author of the study.
No hasty conclusions
However, beware of hasty conclusions: just like the so-called side effects falsely attributed to anti-Covid vaccines, many symptoms could actually have causes other than Covid. In addition, as the study was conducted using an online questionnaire, it could suffer from selection bias (the most affected people being more prompt to respond).
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