New Study Suggests Long-Term Symptoms Following Respiratory Illnesses
A recent study conducted by Queen Mary University of London has found that some individuals may experience long-term symptoms following common respiratory illnesses, similar to the pattern seen in long COVID. The study, which analyzed questionnaire data from over 10,000 UK adults as part of COVIDENCE UK, revealed several key findings.
Firstly, the study discovered that individuals who tested negative for COVID-19 could still experience symptoms for at least four weeks after infection. Common symptoms reported included coughing, stomach pain, and diarrhea. Additionally, those with long COVID were more likely to report ongoing problems with their sense of taste or smell, lightheadedness, or dizziness.
Furthermore, the study highlighted that people in both the “long cold” and long COVID groups experienced more severe symptoms if they had been previously infected. While the study did not measure the duration differences between the two groups, it emphasized the importance of ongoing research to understand why some individuals experience more prolonged symptoms.
The chief investigator of COVIDENCE UK, Professor Adrian Martineau, stressed the significance of this research. He noted that post-acute infection syndromes often go undiagnosed due to the wide range of symptoms and lack of testing, emphasizing the need for further understanding in this area.
These findings come at a time when millions of Americans are reporting long COVID symptoms, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The survey revealed that 6.9% of US adults reported ever having long COVID, with 3.4% currently experiencing the condition. Interestingly, the survey data also showed that women were more likely than men to report long COVID.
The prevalence of long COVID and the study’s findings highlight the urgent need for further research and understanding. Identifying appropriate forms of treatment and care for affected individuals is crucial. As the world continues to grapple with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this study sheds light on a lesser-known aspect of the virus and calls for continued efforts to support those facing persistent symptoms beyond the acute phase of infection.
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