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Long-Lasting Common Cold Proves Lingering Covid Symptoms “Not a New Phenomenon”
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Long-Lasting Common Cold Proves Lingering Covid Symptoms “Not a New Phenomenon”.
British scientists have declared the existence of “long-lasting colds” and claim they are as widespread as long-term COVID-19.
Researchers at Queen Mary University in London surveyed over 10,000 individuals in the UK to inquire about a range of symptoms associated with long-term COVID, such as brain fog, muscle aches, and stomach issues.
The results revealed that one-fifth of those recently infected with COVID reported that these symptoms persisted for over four weeks after they first felt unwell.
However, an equivalent proportion of individuals who had colds, the flu, or pneumonia also reported experiencing persistent symptoms.
The team suggests that their findings indicate that a range of respiratory infections may lead to long-term illnesses, not exclusive to COVID.
Experts argue that feeling unwell for weeks after a respiratory infection is “not a new phenomenon.”
British scientists suggest the existence of “long-lasting colds,” which may explain why people experience COVID-like issues without testing positive for the virus.
Long-term COVID is a little-understood condition characterized by symptoms caused by the virus persisting for more than four weeks after the initial illness has cleared.
Self-reported data indicates that two million people in the UK are grappling with persistent symptoms such as fatigue, lack of concentration, and breathing difficulties, including 762,000 individuals who claim to have been affected for over two years.
However, scientists are skeptical of these numbers, warning that a list of over 200 possible symptoms associated with the condition suggests that the true number of fatalities has been greatly distorted, and consequently, the risk it poses has been “significantly exaggerated.”
Researchers note that there have been few studies comparing long-term COVID symptoms to those that persist after other respiratory illnesses.
This led the team to analyze responses from 10,171 adults with an average age of 63, questioning them about 16 symptoms associated with long-term COVID, such as loss of taste or smell, diarrhea, and dizziness.
In the analysis, 1,343 people had COVID, while 472 had another respiratory ailment like a cold, flu, or tonsillitis, with COVID tests returning negative results.
The research results, published in The Lancet, show that 22% of those infected with the novel coronavirus experienced prolonged symptoms.
An equal percentage of individuals with other respiratory illnesses (22%) complained of these symptoms as well.
Experts suggest that this indicates long-lasting colds are as prevalent as long-term COVID.
Researchers also found that individuals with COVID lost their sense of taste and smell, well-known COVID symptoms, in addition to experiencing dizziness, palpitations, sweating, and hair loss.
Meanwhile, those in the non-COVID group were more likely to experience coughing or hoarseness.
Both groups reported difficulty breathing and fatigue.
The longest duration from initial infection to reporting persistent symptoms was 37 weeks for non-COVID infections and 64 weeks for COVID.
Scientists are still trying to determine what causes some people to experience prolonged symptoms after respiratory infections and why others do not, though they believe the severity of the initial illness may increase the risk.
Researchers note that there is no evidence to suggest that the symptoms of long-lasting colds are of the same severity or duration as long-term COVID.
Giulia Vivaldi, the lead author of the study and a statistician, said, “Our findings not only reveal the impact of long-term COVID on people’s lives but also shed light on the effects of other respiratory infections.”
“As research into long-term COVID continues, there is an opportunity to investigate and consider the lasting effects of other acute respiratory infections.”
“These ‘long’ infections are challenging to diagnose and treat, mainly due to a lack of diagnostic tests and the myriad of possible symptoms.”
Professor Adrian Martineau, a respiratory infection and immunology specialist at Queen Mary Hospital, said the results may provide some answers for those suffering from long-term COVID-like symptoms but have never tested positive for the virus.
He stated, “Our results may align with the experiences of those battling with persistent symptoms following respiratory infections, despite negative Covid tests from nose or throat swabs.”
Around 1.2 million Britons were infected with Covid in the week to September 10, according to data from ZOE Covid research
According to data from the ZOE Covid study, around 1.2 million people in the UK were infected with Covid in the week ending September 10.
“Ongoing research into the long-term effects of Covid and other acute respiratory infections is crucial as it can help us pinpoint the root causes of why some individuals experience longer-lasting symptoms than others.”
“In the end, this can help determine the most appropriate forms of treatment and care for affected populations.”
Independent experts have also welcomed the study’s findings.
Professor Peter Openshaw, an experimental medicine expert at Imperial College London, said, “This research is important as it shows that recovery from acute respiratory illness, whatever the cause, may be slow, and people should expect a gradual return to normal rather than immediate recovery to full activity following acute respiratory illness.”
Dr. David Strain, a senior lecturer and honorary consultant at the University of Exeter, noted that the study results suggest “prolonged symptoms may be unsettling after many other infections.”
He added that many viruses can trigger persistent symptoms, so having lingering symptoms “is not a new phenomenon.”
Professor Paul Harrison, a psychiatry expert at the University of Oxford, said, “This study supports previous findings that long-term symptoms are common after respiratory infections, not just after Covid.”
The NHS has no known cure for long-term COVID but focuses on helping patients alleviate the various symptoms attributed to the condition.
It lists over a dozen symptoms associated with the illness, including earaches, rashes, and pins and needles.
Three percent of the UK population claims to have long-term COVID.
However, scientists from the UK, the US, and Denmark warned last week that the risk of long-term COVID infection has been “significantly exaggerated.”
Significant flaws in the study have distorted the true extent of the condition, leading to misdiagnosis and increased public anxiety.
They criticized the overly broad definition and the lack of appropriate control groups in studies examining the incidence, prevalence, and control of the condition.
Researchers argue that this has led to widespread misdiagnosis of different illnesses after COVID, disrupting patient treatment.
What Are the Symptoms of Long-COVID?
While most people who contract COVID see improvement within a few days, those with symptoms lasting over a month are considered to have long-term COVID.
The NHS lists several symptoms associated with the condition:
- Extreme fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of smell
- Muscle aches
- Memory and concentration issues (“brain fog”)
- Chest pain or tightness
- Sleep difficulties (insomnia)
- Joint pain
- Depression and anxiety
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and earaches
- Nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain, and loss of appetite
- High temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat, and changes in smell or taste
- Skin rash
Long-Lasting Common Cold Proves Lingering Covid Symptoms “Not a New Phenomenon”
(source:internet, reference only)