New Survey Identifies 98 Long-Lasting Covid Symptoms

Early research helps quantify coronavirus long-haulers’ experiences

Robert Roy Britt
Elemental
Published in
4 min readAug 14, 2020

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Photo: RuslanDashinsky/Getty Images

There’s a growing number of people around the globe who have survived Covid-19, only to find persistent symptoms lasting weeks or months, and even new effects like hair loss that don’t show up until weeks after they’ve been declared Covid-free.

They’re called long-haulers. Their experiences are poorly understood by the medical community and often dismissed by doctors as psychological issues, writes epidemiologist and Covid survivor Margot Gage Witvliet, PhD, in an article on The Conversation. But the aches, pains, and inconveniences are real, according to Witvliet, who had Covid-19 four months ago and is now suffering from tinnitus, chest pain, and heart-racing.

98 long-haul effects

A new survey of 1,567 long-haulers now shows just how wide-ranging these long-term symptoms are, stretching from sadness and blurry vision to diarrhea and joint pain. Here are the top 10 complaints and the percentage of people reporting each one (many long-haulers report several effects):

100% Fatigue

66.8% Muscle or body aches

65.1% Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

59.0% Difficulty concentrating or focusing

58.5% Inability to exercise or be active

57.6% Headache

49.9% Difficulty sleeping

47.6% Anxiety

45.6% Memory problems

41.9% Dizziness

The survey, which includes self-reported post-Covid symptoms, grew out of a Facebook page called Survivor Corps, a grassroots group devoted to educating Covid-19 long-haulers and connecting them to the medical and research communities.

The findings were analyzed and presented by Natalie Lambert, PhD, an associate research professor in medicine at Indiana University and Wendy Chung, MD, a neurodevelopmental specialist at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

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Robert Roy Britt
Elemental

Editor of Aha! and Wise & Well on Medium + the Writer's Guide at writersguide.substack.com. Author of Make Sleep Your Superpower: amazon.com/dp/B0BJBYFQCB