A new study found links between the symptoms of long COVID and the variant that was responsible for the infection.
Thanks to some time and research, we’re learning more about long COVID-19, its symptoms, and why it affects some people over others. A new study says that symptoms of long COVID-19 can vary depending on the COVID-19 variant that’s responsible for the infection.
The study, conducted by researchers from Italy, did a retrospective observational study on over 400 subjects who were treated for post-COVID-19 during June 2021 and June 2021. During this time period, the variants in circulation were the original form of the virus and the Alpha variant was in circulation and researchers compared and contrasted each, finding key differences. Researchers will present their findings in this year’s European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases conference.
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Study subjects had been admitted in with COVID-19 and had to fill out a questionnaire regarding lingering symptoms once they were recovered four to twelve weeks later. About 76% of patients reported lingering symptoms, with the most common ones being shortness of breath and chronic fatigue, at least for those infected with the original form of the virus.
Researchers found that the Alpha variant was more likely to produce symptoms like insomnia, muscle aches and pain, brain fog, and mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.
The study showed that subjects with a stronger COVID-19 and required stronger immunosuppressants were six times more likely to report long COVID-19 symptoms.
“Many of the symptoms reported in this study have been measured, but this is the first time they have been linked to different COVID-19 variants,” said Dr. Michele Spinicci, study lead. “The long duration and broad range of symptoms reminds us that the problem is not going away, and we need to do more to support and protect these patients in the long term. Future research should focus on the potential impacts of variants of concern and vaccination status on ongoing symptoms.”
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Recently, we’ve been learning more and more about long COVID-19 and the factors that make some people more likely to experience its symptoms. While a lot remains in question, researchers believe that the severity of the disease, comorbidity, and other factors can have a hand in making long COVID-19 more likely to strike.