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Long COVID: Number of symptoms in first week may predict risk

the World Health Organization (WHO
the University of Birmingham
Medical News Today
the Royal Society of Medicine
the Mount Sinai Health System
the NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre

Shamil Haroon
David Putrino
Enya Daynes
Enya DaynesLong-term
Amy Murnan


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the United Kingdom

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Positivity     37.00%   
   Negativity   63.00%
The New York Times
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Additionally, these symptoms persist beyond 12 weeks in about 10% of all people with a SARS-CoV-2 infection.The Therapies for long COVID (TLC) study group, at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, analyzed 27 previously published studies on long COVID to delineate the most common symptoms and gain insights about the predictors of prolonged illness.The researchers also reviewed the literature to identify complications associated with long COVID and management practices for the care of individuals with prolonged illness.Speaking to Medical News Today, Dr. Shamil Haroon, study co-author and co-lead of the TLC group, noted: “One of the challenges of assessing someone with long COVID is the sheer breadth of symptoms that people have reported and that have been published in the literature.” “Our systematic review enabled us to combine the results of previous studies on long COVID to produce estimates of the prevalence of the most common symptoms. One study also found that individuals exhibiting more than five symptoms during the first week of the illness had an increased likelihood of developing it.Other factors associated with an increased risk of developing long COVID included older age, being female, and having preexisting health conditions.Age and preexisting health conditions also influenced the number of symptoms that persisted during long COVID.The researchers also found that long COVID negatively affected subjective quality of life, mental health, and employment in a significant number of participants. People living with this form of the disease may also experience social isolation and stigmatization and may benefit from social services support.MNT also spoke with Dr. David Putrino, director of rehabilitation innovation for the Mount Sinai Health System, about caring for individuals with long COVID.Dr. Putrino, who was not involved in the study, while discussing the importance of multidisciplinary care for those with long COVID, noted that the symptoms that healthcare professionals are seeing are highly complex and involve multiple systems that heavily interact with each other.Care of such patients by multiple experts, each treating a specific symptom in an uncoordinated manner, can worsen the overall condition of the individual, Dr. Putrino noted.

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