'Long COVID' may be 4 different syndromes, UK health agency report finds

Gabrielle Masson - Print  | 

Those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms months after becoming infected may not all be experiencing a single syndrome, but up to four different ones, according to a report published by the United Kingdom's National Institute for Health Research. 

Estimates suggest that 10 percent of COVID-19 patients experience symptoms for more than three weeks, and about 1 in 50 will still be ill at three months. Researchers and physicians reviewed COVID-19 data and interviewed post-hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients. They believe people experiencing long-term effects of COVID-19 may have different subtypes of what is commonly called "long COVID", and some patients may experience multiple types simultaneously. 

Four potential subtypes of long-lasting COVID-19: 

"We are not saying that we have identified four definitive syndromes," said Elaine Maxwell, PhD, review author and content lead for NIHR's Centre for Engagement and Dissemination. "We are raising this as a possibility and a possible explanation for why so many people feel they are not being believed or heard and are not getting access to supportive treatments."

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