International researchers searched for the missing answers for their current study and analyzed data from 4,182 people with Covid-19 who reported their symptoms in a symptom study app. The clinical picture showed itself mainly with symptoms such as fatigue, headache, breathlessness and disturbances in the sense of smell.
A total of 558 participants (13.3 percent) reported symptoms that occurred for at least 28 days. 189 patients (4.5 percent) reported symptoms that lasted for at least eight weeks. 95 patients (2.3 percent) had symptoms of the disease for at least 12 weeks.
Can the risk for Long Covid be calculated?
The persistent symptoms were more likely to occur with increasing age, a higher body mass index and in women. In addition, the researchers found that the risk of developing the syndrome increased, especially when more than five typical symptoms occurred in the first week of the disease.
The five symptoms during the first week of illness that were most likely to predict Long Covid for 28 days and more were fatigue, headache, breathlessness, hoarseness and muscle pain.
The researchers created a model that should help differentiate between short Covid 19 illness and long Covid after seven days. The model based on 2,149 patients was checked with an independent group of 2,472 patients with a positive SARS-CoV-2 test. The strongest predictable factors were older age (29.2 percent), followed by the number of symptoms in the first week of illness (16.3 percent).
However, it has been shown in patients over 70 years of age that fever, loss of smell and concomitant diseases could also be possible warning signals for long-lasting symptoms.
The scientists hope that this prediction will enable them to identify high-risk patients earlier and optimize their treatment accordingly. The prediction also enables clinical studies to prevent the long course of Covid.