For the most part, long COVID remains to be a mystery. That’s why the medical community and scientists across the globe continue to study the condition and understand its causes, symptoms and other manifestations.
In a review article published in the journal Nature Reviews Microbiology last week, a team of researchers from the Patient-Led Research Collaborative and the Scripps Research Translational Institute reported how long COVID was found to mimic other ailments and health problems in some cases.
During the first year of the pandemic, experts already listed the common symptoms of long COVID. The list has since been updated and expanded to include other characteristic manifestations of the condition.
The list provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) comprised signs and symptoms typical of a COVID-19 infection, including but not limited to tiredness or fatigue, fever, cough, chest pain, difficulty breathing, sleep problems and diarrhea, among others.
Interestingly, the newly released review article stated that long COVID symptoms in a number of cases were nearly indistinguishable from other health problems, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, mast cell activation syndrome and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome.
The impacts of long COVID on numerous organ systems lead to various pathologies, and the presentation of overlapping pathologies in patients can exacerbate management challenges, according to the researchers.
The authors also found evidence that approximately 10% of people infected with SARS-CoV-2 and battled COVID-19 develop long COVID. The mysterious condition is also said to be more prevalent in people between 36 and 50 years of age. Women also appear to be more at risk of developing persistent long COVID.
Prior research showed that some people develop symptoms beyond the respiratory system. Many studies focused on the effects of long COVID on the respiratory system. Meanwhile, little has been done to solve the mystery behind the real cause of the condition or come up with a sure-fire treatment for it, according to Medical Xpress.
Last October, a different team of scientists reported in their study published in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA that around 90% of long COVID sufferers started with a mild case of COVID-19. They also found that patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 had a greater risk of developing long COVID than those who didn’t.