HomeArkansas newsLong Covid: Study finds how long Covid-19 symptoms affect men and women

Long Covid: Study finds how long Covid-19 symptoms affect men and women

Most people who get infected with Covid-19 will only develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalization. Nearly three years into the pandemic, health experts have categorized the coronavirus symptoms into three different groups: most common symptoms, less common symptoms, and serious symptoms.

According to the World Health Organization, fever, cough, tiredness, and loss of taste or smell are considered the most common symptoms that almost every Covid-19 positive patient will develop. Sore throat, headache, aches and pains, diarrhea, a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes, and red or irritated eyes are less common symptoms that only a minor number of Covid-19 positive patients will develop. Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, loss of speech or mobility, or confusion, and chest pain are considered serious symptoms and immediate medical help is required.

Millions of people around the world who had been infected and recovered from COVID-19 started to report that they were still experiencing some of the well-known symptoms months after the infection. That’s how the term “Long Covid” was born. Long Covid is now defined as “experiencing symptoms for three months or more after infection.”

In the last year, numerous studies have been conducted around the world with the aim of finding out how long COVID affects people, how frequent these cases are, and how often it occurs in different groups of people depending on their overall health condition, other diseases, age, gender, and more.

U.S. Census Bureau and National Center for Health Statistics conducted an online survey last month of more than 41,000 adults during the two weeks ending Oct. 17. According to the data that was published few days ago, more than 17% of women have had long Covid at some point during the pandemic, compared with 11% of men. In addition, the data shows that only 1.3% of men had developed severe long covid that significantly limited their normal activities, compared to 2.4% of women.

The Journal of the American Medical Association recently conducted a study which shows that poor memory or brain fog, fatigue, shortness of breath, and loss of smell are the most common long Covid symptoms. While in most of the cases, these symptoms are mild and don’t cause problems, in other cases, these symptoms make people feel debilitated as they might affect multiple organ systems. This study has also revealed that long Covid was more common in women (18%) compared to men (10%).

Vaccination status also plays a role in long Covid. The results of the study show that 87% of the people who have experienced long Covid have been unvaccinated at the time when they got infected with the virus. A huge difference was also discovered in the dominant strain. Nearly 60% of people who developed long Covid were infected with the original virus strain that emerged in China, while more than 17% caught the delta variant and more than 10% had omicron. More than 16,000 adults with prior COVID-19 infection took part in the JAMA’s study. The online study was conducted from February 2021 to July 2022, with data collected every six weeks.

Hundreds of top health experts and dozens of health departments, health institutes, and top-tier universities globally are working on their own studies to learn more about long Covid.

Olivia Martinez



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