Long Covid: Lower libido, hair loss among 62 symptoms, finds new study

Fighting Covid-19 is one thing, and battling long Covid symptoms is another. A new study reveals a wide range of symptoms people can suffer.
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Radhika Bhirani Updated: 23 Oct 2023, 12:48 pm IST
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If you’ve been a Covid-19 victim, chances are you may be suffering from one long Covid symptom or another weeks after recovery. Whether it is a reduced sex drive, hair loss, loss of smell, these are some commonly found long Covid symptoms, points out a new study.

What is long Covid?

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 or what we know as SARS-CoV-2 infection has been linked to a range of long-lasting symptoms which affect one’s everyday life. This condition is called long Covid or Post-Covid Syndrome.

Approximately 10 percent of individuals with Covid-19 are likely to develop persistent and recurring symptoms even 4 to 12 weeks after being infeced.

What the latest study says about long Covid symptoms

The University of Birmingham study, published in the Nature Medicine journal, evaluated a group of people who suffered Covid-19 but were not hospitalized during the pandemic.

People at large are aware of symptoms such as fatigue, loss of smell, breathlessness, brain fog, skin issues, et al. But this new UK study has identified a “broad range of symptoms” – a total of 62 symptoms being associated at 12 or more weeks after infection.

Some of these include urinary incontinence, vertigo, mouth ulcers, anorexia, nail changes and gastritis.

The major symptoms are anosmia, hair loss, sneezing, ejaculation difficulty, reduced libido, shortness of breath at rest, fatigue, chest pain, hoarse voice and fever.

In the study, people were grouped as per behaviour and comorbodities to identify those who were at a higher risk of suffering long Covid. The risk factors ranged from female sex, belonging to an ethnic minority, socioeconomic deprivation, smoking, obesity and other comorbodities such as depression, anxiety, asthma, eczema and hay fever.

Women were found to be at an increased risk compared to men. People in older age groups, especially above 30 years, displayed higher risk of reporting long Covid symptoms.

Socioeconomic deprivation was also one risk factor which was taken into account. Long Covid symptoms chances increased with higher levels of financial inadequacies.

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The US Centers for Disease Control identifies four sets of people who are more likely to develop long Covid symptoms.These are:

* Those who have gone through a severe Covid-19 infection
* People who had underlying health conditions before contrracting the virus
* Those who avoided Covid-19 vaccine as a preventive measure
* Persons who may have suffered multisystem inflammatory syndrome during the infection

How long do long Covid symptoms last?

According to the World Health Organization, it is tough to predict the duration for any patient. While research continues, patients can typically experience lingering symptoms for weeks to months following their brush with Covid-19. However, people’s condition may improve with time.

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About the Author

Radhika Bhirani is a journalist with close to 15 years of experience in the Indian media industry. After writing extensively on health, lifestyle and entertainment, she leads the English content team at Health Shots. She has a special interest in writing on mental health and wellness. ...Read More

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