Five common symptoms of long COVID that could persist for months after infection

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COVID-19 is an infectious disease that has killed more than one million people across the world. If you develop any of the key coronavirus symptoms, you should get tested for the infection straight away.

The UK has seen a steady rise in the number of coronavirus cases over the past few weeks.

A number of councils across the country have entered into ‘tier three’ restrictions, in a bid to cut the infection rate.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has now ordered all pubs and restaurants to shut at 10pm, while nobody should meet with more than five other people for the foreseeable future.

But some coronavirus patients have reported still having symptoms of the virus eight months after their initial infection.

These patients have developed the so-called ‘long COVID’, where symptoms of the initial infection can persist for longer than expected.

One of the most common warning signs of the condition is having persistent fatigue, according to the COVID Symptom Study app.

You could also be at risk of long COVID if you have a cough that won’t go away, shortness of breath, and unusually long headaches.

Some patients have even reported a feeling of numbness on their extremities, similar to pins and needles.

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“The team found that long COVID symptoms fell into two broad groups,” it said.

“One was dominated by respiratory symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath, as well as fatigue and headaches.

“The second group was ‘multi-system’, affecting many parts of the body including the brain, gut and heart.

“Long COVID sufferers also reported heart symptoms such as palpitations or fast heartbeat, as well as pins and needles or numbness, and problems concentrating [‘brain fog’].”

The scientists have also revealed who is most likely to develop long COVID, based on their very earliest coronavirus symptoms.

Fatigue, headaches, difficulty breathing, hoarse voice, and muscle pains, were the five signs that were most likely to lead to long COVID.

Difficulty breathing, in particular, was a “significant” predictor of long COVID, they said.

Patients were also more likely to develop long COVID if they had the onset of multiple symptoms all at once, during the infection’s early stages.

Meanwhile, a high fever, a new cough, and a change to your sense of smell or taste are the most common early coronavirus symptoms.

In the UK, you should only get tested for the infection if you develop any of these symptoms.

Some patients have also reported a sore throat, headaches, and even hiccups, on top of the more common signs.

More than 45,000 people have died from coronavirus in the UK.

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