Long Covid: Cough, odor, fatigue, neck pain, hair loss… Which symptoms get worse over time?

French researchers have conducted the world’s first study reconstructing the exact history of each symptom of Covid.

It was scientists from the AP-HP (Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris) and the University of Paris Cité who studied the evolution of 53 symptoms of the long Covid by examining their evolution over time in 968 patients.

This research is a world first and has already established this 85% of patients still had covid a year after infection. As a reminder, previous studies have shown that 10 to 15% of people infected with the coronavirus develop a long covid, the most commonly reported symptoms of which are fatigue, headaches and “mental fog” type trouble concentrating. .

The one from Dr. Viet-Thi Tran (Paris Cité University / Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris) led a study that made it possible to reconstruct the evolution of the symptoms of the disease from day to day. Above all, she highlighted a previously unknown fact: the disease changes over time.

These worsening symptoms

– 27 of the 53 symptoms appear to fade over time. Coughing, odor and taste disorders are becoming increasingly rare in the patients examined.

– 18 of the 53 symptoms did not change at all. Fatigue thus remains stable over time.

– Finally, 8 of the 53 symptoms appear in more and more patients examined during the study period. Hair loss, not very present at the beginning of a long covid, therefore seems to affect more and more affected patients, as well as pain in the neck, back and lower back and disorders of the sense of touch.

For the researchers, this study finally makes it possible “to describe the dynamics of the symptoms of long Covid day by day”. “These results shed light on the pathophysiology of the disease. They make it possible to identify, among all the complex and heterogeneous manifestations of long covid, those more linked to the consequences of the acute disease (whose symptoms decrease over time) and those , which are related to other mechanisms, whether immunological, psychosomatic or still unexplained”.

Studies continue to try to explain the “path” the disease took several months after infection. The AP-HP has also launched an appeal to long Covid patients to enrich the database and allow for a better understanding of the disease. You can register on the Compare platform to advance medical research.

The results of their study were published in the journal Nature Communications in early April.

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