That said, a recent research has described how COVID-19 symptoms linger on for weeks and even months and how they tend to appear in long-hauler patients.
What is Long COVID?
Long COVID is defined by the symptoms faced by people even after they have recovered from the disease and tested negative for the same.
According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), long COVID lasts for more than 12 weeks, although some other people consider symptoms that last more than eight weeks to be long COVID.
With regard to long COVID, long haulers are people who, due to COVID-19, either experience some permanent damage to their lungs, heart, kidneys, or brain or continue to experience weakening symptoms despite no detectable damage to these organs.
How long does it take for COVID-19 to become long COVID?
The National Institute for Health and Care (NICE) published its own set of guidelines and said that long COVID can “continue for more than 12 weeks [following a coronavirus infection] and are not explained by an alternative diagnosis”.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), one in five coronavirus patients exhibit symptoms “for a period of five weeks or longer”.
The same report stated that one in every 10 COVID patients showed symptoms for upto 12 weeks and longer.
What has research found so far?
As per a new research, long-term COVID symptoms may appear in a distinct pattern over weeks and months.
Natalie Lambert, an associate research professor at Indiana University School of Medicine, evaluated thousands of long COVID patients and found that their symptoms appeared at frequent intervals, calling it “waves of symptoms.”
In the study, 5,163 long-haulers were contacted online through the website Survivor Corps. More than 75 per cent of the participants had either tested positive for SARs-COV-2 or had been diagnosed by physicians on the basis of their symptoms.
The research findings stated that patients had suffered over 100 symptoms – not all necessarily associated with COVID. However, experts say more research is needed to confirm the claims.
Different “waves of symptoms” in long-haulers, as per research
According to Lambert, “They are normally tracking their symptoms week by week so that they can report it to the doctor to try to get help.”
As per the study, the development and the appearance of the symptoms were broken down and studied as the patterns they emerged in.
Lambert says, “The first wave is clearly the more flu-like symptoms [like fatigue, headache, fever and chills].” “Then it seems like diarrhea, nausea and vomiting are five days later, typically,” she adds.
Ten days following the first wave, new symptoms associated with neurologic complications such as mental confusion, brain fog and dizziness start to appear. Joint and muscle pain were also reported during this time.
After 15 days, patients have experienced high or low blood pressure, heart palpitations and a possibility to faint.
With 21 days gone, patients have then suffered with unusual symptoms such as mouth sores, eye infection and various skin conditions. Some as you might know as “COVID toes”.
While many are hoping for an answer for such a lingering impact, scientists and medical professionals continue to look into the matter.