A new study by a team of researchers at the University of Missouri identifies only seven symptoms directly related to the Long Covid infection because, according to the study, the other symptoms described by patients are more related to common viral respiratory infections.
The researchers identified the seven symptoms as palpitations, hair loss, fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain, muscle pain and obesity. The study authors note that some diagnoses commonly described as long Covid do not appear to be significantly more common after Covid-19 infection compared with other common viral respiratory infections and that they were able to identify long-term sequelae that are distinct from Covid-19.
The researchers analyzed the electronic medical records of 52,461 patients across the United States and initially selected the forty-seven most reported symptoms associated with long Covid. Because many of these forty-seven symptoms were also common with common viral respiratory infections such as influenza or pneumonia, the scientists categorized the patients’ records into three separate groups based on their disease, Covid-19, viral respiratory infection or neither.
They then compared the reported symptoms. These results should make it easier for healthcare professionals to identify a long Covid and they will also know what information to ask for and look for when they see a patient with these types of symptoms.