‘Long COVID’ could be 4 syndromes: UK study

“Long COVID” refers to people suffering from recurring symptoms months after they first contracted the coronavirus. Pictured, a colorized scanning electron micrograph of apoptotic cell infected with novel coronavirus. (NIAID/File Photo)
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Updated 15 October 2020

‘Long COVID’ could be 4 syndromes: UK study

  • Term refers to people suffering from recurring symptoms months after initial infection
  • ‘The list of symptoms is huge and covers every part of the body and brain’

LONDON: The phenomenon known as “long COVID” could be a combination of four different syndromes affecting the body at the same time, according to a study by the UK’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). 

“Long COVID” refers to people suffering from recurring symptoms months after they first contracted the virus. The NIHR study said some 60,000 people could be living with “long COVID” in the UK.

Researchers say those still suffering from symptoms after seven months of infection could be under the grip of post-viral fatigue syndrome, post-intensive care syndrome, permanent organ damage and long-term COVID syndrome.

There is no evidence to suggest that children are exempt from “long COVID,” or that people who were asymptomatic or avoided serious health problems with the virus will not suffer the long-term complications. The symptoms of “long COVID” include “brain fog,” stress and anxiety.

The study’s author Dr. Elaine Maxwell said patients can experience a “rollercoaster of symptoms” that “move around the body.” 

She added: “The list of symptoms is huge and covers every part of the body and brain. We believe that the term ‘long COVID’ is being used as a capsule for more than one syndrome, possibly up to four. People without a clear diagnosis told us they’re often not believed by health services.”

She said there “are people who never had any support in hospital, never had a test, have no record of ever having had COVID, except their own personal history. They may be suffering far more than somebody who was ventilated for several weeks.”

Maxwell added that the number of people with long-term COVID-19 symptoms is likely to increase amid the return of heavy hospitalizations and a “second spike” of infections.


Don’t relax virus rules too quickly, says EU chief

Updated 31 sec ago

Don’t relax virus rules too quickly, says EU chief

BRUSSELS: European countries should not ease coronavirus restrictions too quickly, EU chief Ursula von der Leyen warned on Wednesday, stressing the risk of a post-Christmas third wave.
Some European nations are slowly relaxing measures including stay-at-home orders put in place to fight the pandemic, as they gear up for end-of-year holidays.
But von der Leyen told EU lawmakers: “We must learn from the summer and not repeat the same mistakes, relaxing too fast.”
French President Emmanuel Macron announced late on Tuesday that shops could reopen on Saturday and nationwide stay-at-home orders would be lifted from December 15, though a nighttime curfew would be reintroduced.
Elsewhere in Europe, 16 German states agreed guidelines for Christmas that were less strict than those proposed for the rest of December, even as virus cases near one million.
State leaders agreed to cap gatherings to 10 people over the December 23 to January 1 holiday — double the limit for the rest of December.
The latest bulletin by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control issued early this week classes most of the European Union countries, including France and Germany, as being of “serious concern.”
“Relaxing too fast and too much is a risk for a third wave after Christmas,” von der Leyen said.
“Weeks ago, I said that this Christmas will be different. And yes, it will be quieter.”