Who is More at Risk of Getting Long Covid?

King’s College London has posted a preprint paper online claiming that certain categories of people feeling mixed Covid symptoms are more likely to experience a long Covid infection. These categories include women, older people, people with excess weight, people with asthma.  This study aims to identify these high-risk people to give them an early warning. It may also be necessary for hospitals to reserve spots for these high-risk or long Covid patients, making sure to provide them all necessary care. The researchers used the Covid Symptom Study App, in which people enter the symptoms they face, for identifying different Covid symptoms for this study.

Long covid as defined by the preprint paper is when a person is having symptoms of the virus that persist for a period of more than a month, however, if a person faces symptoms for a period of not more than 10 days and there is no relapse afterward than he does not qualify for the long covid.

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According to the study yet to be published around 4.5% or 1 in every 20 patients suffering from covid19 are more likely to face long covid and the symptoms can last for 2 months or even more. The researchers searched the data to find any patterns in people who are getting the long covid. They found that anyone can be affected by long covid but there are some things that make a person more vulnerable.

Dr. Claire Steves of King College London said that one of the risk factors is when a person is having more than 5 different symptoms in the first week of him getting infected. She added that from the early data it was found that women were more likely to get long covid, whereas, men were more at risk of dying or getting severely infected from the coronavirus.

Most of the infected people in the study recovered in around 11 days or less, 1 in 7 or around 14.3% experienced the symptoms for not less than 4 weeks, 1 in 20 or around 5% faced the symptoms for not less than 8 weeks and 1 in 50 had symptoms for not less than 12 weeks. These sufferers of long covid were also two times (16 % of the people involved in the study) more likely to relapse to the disease after recovering in comparison to the people who suffered symptoms for less than 4 weeks (8.4%).

Around 21.9% or 1 in 5 adults aged 70 or more, who were infected by the coronavirus, also experienced long covid, in contrast, 1 in 10 or around 10% of people aged between 18-49 years faced long covid. Moreover, around 1 in 7 women suffered long covid compared to around 1 in 11 men.

The coronavirus is more than cough only and it is capable of damaging various organs within the body. Any infected person having the symptoms of cough, headache, loss of taste or smell, fatigue, and diarrhea, is more at risk of experiencing long covid than a person who is suffering from cough only. Its risk is also increased with the age (over 50) of the infected as well as being a woman. Moreover, only the medical conditions of lung disease and asthma were linked with long covid.