Coronavirus: New study shows different variants linked to different long Covid symptoms

Long Covid: Dr Sara Kayat discusses impact on children

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Undertaken by the University of Florence and Careggi University, the study found different variants of Covid may cause different long Covid symptoms.

Dr Michele Spinici, infectious disease specialist from the university said: “Many of the symptoms reported in this study have been measured [before], but this is the first time they have been linked to different Covid-19 variants.

“Findings in patients with long Covid were focussed on neurological and psychological difficulties.”

As a result, depending on which variant a person has could depend on the severity of their long Covid symptoms.

While this is a step forward, it is only a very small step.

Dr Spinici added: “Long Covid is a huge area that involves many different fields of medicine so there is not one single piece of advice to give on management.

“There’s lots to consider when evaluating a long Covid patient.”

Results from the Italian study also showed when it came to long Covid Alpha was so far the most dominant variant.

Alpha was one of the successor variants to the original version of COVID-19.

Overall the results showed 76 percent of patients reported one persistent symptom.

The most commonly reported symptoms were:
• Dyspnoea (Difficulty breathing)
• Chronic fatigue
• Insomnia
• Visual disorders
• Brain fog.

Commenting on the study, Dr Michael Horberg, who recently presented data on long Covid said: “The issue is that as we go along with the Covid lifespan from acute to long Covid, what prompts patients to seek medical attention may change.

“If symptoms are not severe or were not well publicised previously, patients may not see the need to seek care or evaluation. As such, it doesn’t surprise me to find changes over time, independent of any potential biological activity of the virus or its consequences.

“To me the take home point is long Covid is real and physicians need to be on the look out for it.”

Dr Debby Bogaert of the University of Edinburgh also commented on the study: “The number of patients with ongoing symptoms is very high, therefore unlikely that all of this is re-emergence of underlying or previous health problems.”

As a result of the rising numbers of long Covid cases, health systems around the world will need to be prepared for a spike in those needing long term care.

As well as a rise in the number of people suffering from long Covid, the health services will also need to be prepared for a rise in the number of people suffering from cardiovascular issues.

Recent studies have found even a mild case of COVID-19 can increase the risk of heart conditions substantially.

For more information on long Covid contact the NHS or consult with your GP.

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