New research provides a potential explanation for long Covid symptoms – breakthrough study

Coronavirus cases appear to be plummeting in the UK as coronavirus vaccines make their way into more and more arms. There is another health crisis that could keep the legacy of the pandemic alive, however. Long Covid, whereby symptoms of coronavirus persist for weeks or months after the infection has gone, afflicts many people in the UK. Health experts remain puzzled by the phenomenon and ways to treat the condition remain elusive.

No other symptoms or vital signs differed between the groups.

In the second small study, researchers at universities in the United States and Turkey found that around a third of 185 randomly surveyed COVID-19 patients had symptoms at least 30 days after testing positive.

When the scientists tested blood samples from some participants, they discovered that 66.7 percent (20 out of 30) of those with long Covid had a reactivated EBV infection.

In contrast, only 10 percent (two out of 20) of those who did not develop long Covid were positive for EBV reactivation.

They concluded that infection with SARS-CoV-2 may reactivate EBV, which in turn may cause many long Covid symptoms.

“These findings suggest that many long Covid symptoms may not be a direct result of the SARS-CoV-2 virus but may be the result of COVID-19 inflammation-induced EBV reactivation,” the authors wrote.

Long Covid – symptoms to spot

Common long Covid symptoms include:

  • Extreme tiredness (fatigue)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Problems with memory and concentration (“brain fog”)
  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • Heart palpitations
  • Dizziness
  • Pins and needles
  • Joint pain
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Tinnitus, earaches
  • Feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches, loss of appetite
  • A high temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat, changes to sense of smell or taste
  • Rashes.

“Contact a GP if you’re worried about symptoms four weeks or more after having COVID-19,” advises the NHS.

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