New Survey Identifies 98 Long-Lasting Covid Symptoms
Early research helps quantify coronavirus long-haulers’ experiences
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):
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
49.9% Difficulty sleeping
45.6% Memory problems
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.