A study from King’s College London estimates that every 20th person infected with Covid-19 is ill for at least eight weeks and that women, obese people and those with asthma have a higher risk of long-term illness.
The researchers analyzed data from the Covid Symptom Study application, which monitors the symptoms of a coronavirus infection. They found that anyone could have long-term symptoms of Covid-19, but that some groups of people still belong to the risk group.
“One of the main risk factors is the appearance of more than five different symptoms in the first week of Covid-19 disease,” Claire Stevens, a doctor at King’s College London, told the BBC.
Covid-19 is more than just a cough, and the virus it causes can affect almost any organ. Someone who coughs, feels tired, has a headache and sparse stools, and loses their sense of smell has a higher risk of long-term illness than someone who just had a cough.
The risk also increases with age, especially in those over 50, and especially in women of this age.
“According to preliminary data, men are at much higher risk of very severe symptoms and death, but women appear to be at greater risk of long-term coronavirus disease,” Stevens said, adding that those at risk for persistent Covid -19 include those with asthma or other chronic airway disease.
Vicki Bourne, 48, had a fever and a mild cough at the start of the coronavirus infection in March and eventually could barely breathe and had to receive extra oxygen. She did not end up in hospital, was treated at home, and now, in October, still has symptoms of the infection.
Although her health is improving, she has had vision problems and still suffers from short-term attacks of severe symptoms. Usually walking a pet consumes so much energy that it can not walk the dog and talk at the same time.
“I have strange joint pain reminiscent of arthritis, and two weeks ago I lost my sense of smell and taste again,” Bourne said.
“It’s like I have an inflammation that goes away and then comes back and I can’t get rid of it,” she added.
According to the study, Bourne is not an isolated case. Namely, the scientists from the Royal College in London found that on average every seventh person is sick for at least four weeks, every fourth is sick for at least eight weeks, and one in 45 at least 12.