(NEXSTAR) — It’s something that makes COVID-19 especially scary: Even people who only get mild sickness, and don’t need to be hospitalized, report feeling side effects and symptoms long after they’re free of the virus.
Long COVID, as it’s being called, is still being studied in real time, but research so far suggests about 1 in 3 adults who get coronavirus have symptoms that last more than two weeks. A study out of the UK found 25% of people between 35 and 69 years old still had symptoms five weeks after diagnosis. If you are hospitalized, you’re far more likely to have COVID symptoms months after you’re released. (A study out of Italy found 87% of people hospitalized were still struggling two months after release.)
What are these long-lasting symptoms exactly? A study published recently in Nature’s Scientific Reports reviewed thousands of publications for studies of long-term COVID effects. The researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 47,910 patients, ages 17 to 87.
The most common long-term side effect, they found, is fatigue, affecting 58% of people in the study.
Here are the 25 most common long COVID symptoms, according to the meta-analysis:
- Fatigue (58%)
- Headaches (44%)
- Attention disorder (27%)
- Hair loss (25%)
- Dyspnea, or difficulty breathing (24%)
- Ageusia, or loss of taste (23%)
- Anosmia, or loss of smell (21%)
- Post-activity polypnea, or heavy breathing/panting/sweating (21%)
- Joint pain (19%)
- Cough (19%)
- Sweat (17%)
- Nausea or vomiting (16%)
- Chest pain (16%)
- Memory loss (16%)
- Hearing loss or ringing in the ears (15%)
- Anxiety (13%)
- Depression (12%)
- Digestive disorders (12%)
- Weight loss (12%)
- Cutaneous signs, or skin and dermatological issues (12%)
- Increase in resting heart rate (11%)
- Palpitations (11%)
- Pain (11%)
- Intermittent fever (11%)
- Sleep disorder (11%)
The 30 other long COVID symptoms identified are less common, and include everything from psychiatric disorders to kidney failure. (See the full list from the study here.)
The study included side effects reported anywhere from 14 days to 110 days after infection.
Some who caught COVID-19 in the first wave of the pandemic, in early 2020, are still battling fatigue and brain fog. Because the virus is so new, we don’t know yet if these effects will ever go away.
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