Long Covid can ‘relapse with little warning’ expert says

Long Covid victim discusses daily impact of virus

With people around the world suffering from Long Covid symptoms long after shaking the nasty virus, an expert has now warned that the symptoms can relapse with “little warning”.

“There are over 200 documented symptoms of long Covid which vary in frequency and intensity,” said Dr Faghy, the Associate Professor in Respiratory Physiology at the University of Derby.

“Symptoms can be debilitating and relapse with little warning but especially following physical, emotional and cognitive tasks.”

Dr Faghy said the most commonly reported long Covid symptoms include brain fog, fatigue, aches and pain in the limbs, dizziness, insomnia, and headaches.

While the exact cause of long Covid “has yet to be established”, there is new research in this area.

Researchers at the universities of Oxford and Leicester put forward the hypothesis that blood clots are a cause of post-Covid cognitive problems.

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The Post-hospitalisation COVID-19 study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, identified higher levels of the protein fibrinogen and protein fragment D-dimer in those presenting with brain fog.

Brain fog describes trouble with clear thinking, concentrating and remembering things well.

Study author Dr Max Taquet, from Oxford, said: “Both fibrinogen and D-dimer are involved in blood clotting.

“And so the results support the hypothesis that blood clots are a cause of post-Covid cognitive problems.”

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Dr Taquet added: “Fibrinogen may be directly acting on the brain and its blood vessels.

“[Meanwhile] D-dimer often reflects blood clots in the lungs and the problems in the brain might be due to lack of oxygen.”

There were 1,837 participants involved in the study, but all had been hospitalised with Covid.

Dr Faghy pointed out: “There is a large proportion of people who were previously fit, active and well (including athletes) with no record of health issues, who have been unable to carry out their pre-pandemic activities [since being infected with Covid].”

Thus, it seems that anybody can develop long Covid and the associated symptoms.

Dr Faghy added: “The relapsing nature of symptoms can also lead people into a false sense of security as their symptoms can flare up and at times be worse than the initial presentation.

“There has been some research suggesting that recovery is 12 months but when you dig deeper into the methodology this is simply not the case.

“It’s most likely that long Covid occurs as a result of a combination of systems/bodily functions being impaired, but research is needed to confirm this.”

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