What are the 55 symptoms you can expect from ‘long-haul’ COVID-19?

A new review on the effects of so-called “long-haul” COVID-19 infections finds that people who cannot shake the virus can suffer with upwards of 50 symptoms as the illness lingers.

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The review, published in Nature.com, catalogs some 55 persistent symptoms that those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, yet failed to get well within a few weeks, are often saddled with.

The list includes long-term health issues such as a cough, memory loss, joint pain and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The five most common symptoms researchers found were fatigue (58%), a headache (44%), attention disorder (27%), hair loss (25%), and shortness of breath (24%).

Fatigue was a symptom for people even 100 days after their diagnosis.

Around 10% of patients who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 virus remain unwell beyond three weeks, and a smaller proportion for months, the British Medical Journal reported.

The review showed at least 80% of patients with confirmed COVID-19 infections continued to have at least one of the 55 symptoms beyond a 14-day time period.

The results of the review are similar to other studies of long-haulers.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some people who had severe illness with COVID-19 can experience “multiorgan effects or autoimmune conditions over a longer time with symptoms lasting weeks or months after COVID-19 illness.”

The agency defines multiorgan effects as problems with heart, lung, kidney, skin, and brain functions.

Autoimmune conditions associated with COVID-19 infections, according to the CDC, “happen when your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake, causing inflammation (painful swelling) or tissue damage in the affected parts of the body.”

The 22-page review of the studies showed that at least 80% of long-haulers continued to have at least one of the 55 symptoms beyond a two-week time period.

The review was compiled using 15 studies of those with long COVID conducted around the world — eight studies from Europe and the United Kingdom, three from the United States and one each from Australia, China, Egypt, and Mexico.

The study’s researchers said that around 45,000 people were followed in the 15 studies. Adults ranging in age from 17 to 87 years were included, and the patient follow-up time ranged from 14 to 110 days.

According to Johns Hopkins, there have been more than 207 million cases and more than 4.3 million deaths worldwide since the virus was identified in China in Dec. 2019.

Below are the symptoms listed in the study and the percentage of long-haul people who have had those symptoms:

1. Fatigue – 58%

2. Headache – 44%

3. Attention disorder – 27%

4. Hair loss – 25%

5. Dyspnea – (shortness of breath) – 24%

6. Ageusia – (loss of taste) – 21%

7. Anosmia – (loss of smell) – 21%

8. Post-activity polypnea – (rapid breathing) – 21%

9. Joint pain – 19%

10. Cough – 19%

11. Sweat – 17%

12. Nausea or vomiting – 16%

13. Chest pain/discomfort – 16%

14. Memory loss – 16%

15. Hearing loss or tinnitus – 15%

16. Anxiety – 13%

17. Depression – 12%

18. Digestive disorders – 12%

19. Weight loss – 12%

20. Cutaneous (skin) signs – 12%

21. Resting heart rate increase – 11%

22. Palpitations – 11%

23. Pain – 11%

24. Intermittent fever – 11%

25. Sleep disorder – 11%

26. Reduced pulmonary capacity – 10%

27. Sleep apnea – 8%

28. Chills – 7%

29. Mental health issues (health care-related) – 7%

30. Psychiatric illness – 6%

31. Red eyes – 6%

32. Pulmonary fibrosis – 5%

33. Discontinuous flushing – 5%

34. Diabetes Mellitus – 4%

35. Sputum – 3%

36. Limb edema – 3%

37. Dizziness – 3%

38. Stroke – 3%

39. Throat pain – 3%

40. Mood disorders – 2%

41. Dysphoria (an uneasy feeling) – 2%

42. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – 2%

43. New hypertension – 1%

44. Myocarditis – 1%

45. Renal failure – 1%

46. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – 1%

47. Arrhythmia – 0.4%

48. Paranoia – 0.3%

Abnormal laboratory tests are also seen in long-haul COVID-19 sufferers. They include:

49. Abnormal chest X-ray/CT – 34%

50. Elevated D-dimer (proteins released when a blood clot is dissolved in the body) – 20%

51. Elevated NT-proBNP (a protein released by the heart) – 11%

52. Elevated C-reactive protein (a protein that increases in the body when inflammation is present) – 8%

53. Elevated serum ferritin (a protein associated with the level of iron in the body) – 8%

54. Elevated procalcitonin (a substance that is produced by the body in response to infections and tissue injury) – 4%

55. Elevate IL-6 (a chemical in the body that is linked to inflammation) – 3%

You can read the study here.