Patients with long COVID have reported more than 200 symptoms affecting 10 organ systems, according to a new study.
Researchers surveyed 3,762 people from 56 countries who joined the Body Politic online COVID-19 support group and reported coronavirus-like symptoms between December 2019 and May 2020.
In total they reported 203 different symptoms, with 66 identified for the whole seven-month period.
The most common were fatigue, post-exertional malaise (worsening of symptoms after physical or mental exertion), and cognitive dysfunction – often referred to as brain fog.
Among the other symptoms identified were visual hallucinations, itchy skin, menstrual cycle changes, sexual dysfunction, bladder control issues, diarrhoea, heart palpitations and tinnitus.
The study, led by scientists from University College London (UCL) and published in the Lancet’s E Clinical Medicine, is the largest peer-reviewed research into long COVID symptoms so far.
Following the findings, UCL experts are calling for a national UK screening programme for long COVID and the widening of diagnostic tests beyond just cardiovascular and respiratory ones.
Although the new study did not measure the length of time patients were ill, a recent one has shown that one in seven people who test positive for coronavirus are still suffering symptoms 12 weeks later.
The UCL study was open to anyone over the age of 18 with suspected long COVID – including those who were unable to get a positive coronavirus test due to shortages early on in the pandemic.
Authors noted some limitations, including a bias towards people who were able to join online support groups, English speakers (91.9% of respondents) and white people (85.3% of respondents).
Follow the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker
The results showed that 91.8% of those surveyed were still suffering symptoms after seven months and 96% after three months.
For those who were still ill after three months, the number of symptoms peaked at 17 in the second month.
People who were symptomatic for more six months experienced an average of 14 symptoms after the seventh month.
On average, patients suffered 56 different symptoms across nine organ systems.
The vast majority (89.1%) suffered relapses in their illness, most often triggered by physical or mental activity or stress.
Some 45.2% had to reduce their working hours compared to before they were ill and 22.3% were unable to work at all.
Commenting on the study, its senior author Dr Athena Akrami, neuroscientist at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre at UCL said: “While there has been a lot of public discussion around long COVID, there are few systematic studies investigating this population.
“In this unique approach, we have gone directly to ‘long haulers’ around the world in order to establish a foundation of evidence for medical investigation, improvement of care, and advocacy for the long COVID population.
“This is the most comprehensive characterisation of long COVID symptoms, so far.”
She added: “There is now a clear need to widen medical guidelines to assess a far wider range of symptoms when diagnosing long COVID.”
Dr Akrami said that with “thousands suffering in silence” the study would help build resources and facilities for patients.
Frank Skinner breaks down in tears on live radio as he reveals friend Gareth Richards is fighting for his life after crash
Frank Skinner broke down in tears live on his radio show as he told listeners that his former co-host Gareth Richards is fighting for his life after a crash.
The comedian struggled for words as he revealed that his friend was in a “very big road accident” this week and was fighting for his life.
Mr Richards is believed to have been involved in a serious collision on the M25 near Heathrow Airport on 27 March.
The crash between a lorry and two cars happened on the motorway between Junctions 14 and 15, Surrey Live reported.
A man was cut free from his vehicle by firefighters before being treated by the London Ambulance Service for head and chest injuries. The Met Police previously said he was in a “life-threatening” condition.
Read more UK news:
Huge surge in charity donations after Paul O’Grady’s death
Former world champion boxer dies
‘He’s a fantastic bloke’
During the closing moments of his show on Absolute Radio on Saturday, Mr Skinner recalled how Mr Richards had co-hosted with him and Emily Dean when the show first started out.
Breaking down in tears, he continued: “And Gareth was in a very big road accident this week and… it’s not looking great for Gareth.
“He’s in hospital and he’s fighting but it’s not looking great and I didn’t want to do this show – we didn’t want to do this show without mentioning him…”
He added: “He’s a fantastic bloke and I dunno if any of you do pray, if you do give one for Gareth this week.”
Man, 61, arrested on suspicion of murder after woman’s body found in marina in Reading
A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a woman’s body was found in a marina in Reading, Thames Valley Police have said.
Police were called just after 10.30am on Saturday to reports of a body in the water at the Thames and Kennet Marina in Caversham.
Officers recovered the body from the marina and the suspect, 61, was arrested. He remains in police custody.
The woman’s next of kin have been informed, the force said.
Read more UK news:
Man dies after white collar boxing match
Stabbing death after violent attack in taxi
Frank Skinner breaks down in tears on radio
Detective Inspector Richard Pickering said: “We are in the very early stages of this investigation, and although we have made an arrest, I would urge the public not to speculate on the circumstances of the woman’s death, which is being treated as unexplained at this time.
“There is currently a scene-watch in place at the location and will be in place for some time while our investigation continues.
“Although the death is being treated as unexplained, we do not believe there to be any danger to the local community, and we are conducting a full and thorough investigation to ascertain the full circumstances of this tragic incident.”
Port of Dover delays: Passengers stranded for hours as ‘critical incident’ declared
Passengers have told of their ordeal after being stranded for hours at the Port of Dover as delays triggered a “critical incident”.
One woman told Sky News she had been waiting on a bus for “12 hours already”, while concerned parents reported on Twitter that their children had been stranded for longer than that, delaying the start of their school trips.
The port said coach processing times inside the terminal are “improving” and are now between one to hours, with one hour waits for cars.
In a statement, it blamed “lengthy French border processes” and the “sheer volume” of traffic on the first day of the school Easter holidays.
Port chief executive Doug Bannister told Sky News that although plans for the holiday period were in place months ago it had 15% more coaches than anticipated and bad weather on Friday caused further delays.
He said that with only half the number of coaches booked in for Sunday, he hopes the backlog will clear “overnight or into tomorrow morning”.
Rosie, a woman travelling on a coach with her family, said they were “left overnight” with “no idea how long we’ll be here”.
“We’ve been waiting for 12 hours already and it’ll be at least another two or three before we get on the ferry,” she told Sky News on Saturday morning.
“It’s very frustrating. I’m an environmental campaigner, I forced my family to get on this bus instead of flying.
“It’s supposed to be an easy overnight trip, but it’s absolute carnage and there’s no excuse for it at all.”
Up to 40 coaches stranded in parks overnight
Mr Bannister said between 20 and 40 coaches were rediverted to local coach parks overnight.
“We started calling them through in the early hours of the morning as soon as there was space,” he said.
Simon Lyons, who is taking his son’s football team to Amsterdam, has been stuck in the coach queue at Dover for “a couple of hours”.
He told Sky News the group of teenagers are 48th in the queue to be checked, but there are currently no ferries departing due to the build up of traffic.
“There’s a real lack of French border staff,” he said.
“We thought coach and ferry was the way to go, but the situation on the ground is not good.
“Speaking to the staff here and they say it’s entirely down to what happened with Brexit. Each individual passport needs to be individually stamped and that’s why it’s taking so long.”
One person posted on Twitter: “My children have been sat on their school coach overnight and are still awaiting news from P&O on when they can move from the buffer zone!”
While another wrote: “My daughter has been in a queue since midnight. Still no idea when the coach will be allowed to board.”
Asked whether the delays were the result of Brexit, Mr Bannister added: “It does make processing more challenging.”
Port staff ‘deeply frustrated’
The port – which declared the critical incident – said in a statement: “The Port of Dover is deeply frustrated by last night’s and this morning’s situation and particularly so on behalf of all the ferry operators’ coach passengers who have had to endure such a long wait at the port.
“Whilst freight and car traffic was processed steadily regardless of the additional challenging weather conditions and high seasonal volumes, coach traffic suffered significant delays due to lengthy French border processes and sheer volume.”
The port added that “additional coach bookings taken by ferry operators for Easter has impacted operations for the port”.
P&O Ferries said that after a two or three-hour wait, coach passengers will be “on the next crossing to Calais… as soon as you are through passport control”.
It added that it is providing refreshments to coach passengers who have been stuck at the cruise terminal for hours and also trying to get food and drink to people in the buffer zone.
The company blamed “the time it is taking to process each vehicle at French border controls” for the delays.
DFDS Seaways apologised for waits of “up to 120 minutes” for coaches and cars.
It said it is “operating a cross channel shuttle service” so “all passengers can be shipped on the first available departure upon arrival at check in”.
The company added in a tweet that traffic is “flowing freely” at Dover but “car traffic is very busy”.
Technology2 years ago
Game consoles were once banned in China. Now Chinese developers want a slice of the $49 billion pie
Sports5 months ago
‘Storybook stuff’: Inside the night Bryce Harper sent the Phillies to the World Series
Politics1 year ago
Have the last few wobbly weeks seen a turning point for Johnson as PM?
Sports2 years ago
Team Europe easily wins 4th straight Laver Cup
Politics1 year ago
Yvette Cooper promoted and Lisa Nandy to shadow Gove on levelling up brief in Labour reshuffle
Business6 months ago
Liz Truss’s ‘favourite’ economist says chancellor ‘took his eye off ball’ and ‘overstepped the mark’ with mini-budget
Politics1 year ago
Govt minister says she ‘doesn’t believe’ Stanley Johnson inappropriately touched MP
Videos6 months ago
World leaders come together for Queen Elizabeth’s funeral