The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases has surpassed 203 million globally, according to World Health Organization (WHO). Although symptoms may vary depending on your immune system and any pre-existing conditions you may have, most people develop mild to moderate symptoms that last two to three weeks. However, some patients experience symptoms beyond four weeks of contracting COVID. This is known as long COVID or post-acute Covid-19.
One in five COVID patients experience symptoms after five weeks and 10 percent of people with a SARS-CoV-2 infection have symptoms that persist beyond 12 weeks.
What causes long COVID?
Experts haven’t put a clear cause to what causes long COVID, but they have their speculations. One possibility is the infection can cause an immune system to go into overdrive and attack not just the virus, but a person’s tissues as well. This is common in people who have very strong immune responses.
The damaged cells caused by the virus can lead to symptoms such as brain fog and a loss of smell and taste. While damage to blood vessels could lead to heart, lung and brain problems.
Another possibility is that fragments from the virus could lay dormant in the body and eventually become reactivated. This is known to happen with diseases such as herpes and the Epstein Barr.
Who gets long Covid?
Research shows that age plays a major part in whether or not you develop long COVID.
About one to two percent of people in their 20s developed long COVID compared with five percent of people in their 60s, according to health record databases by King’s College London. Although one to two percent may seem like low numbers, study author Dr. Claire Steves points out that one to two percent of 100,000 cases is a lot of people. Despite the symptoms being less common in younger people, they could still have a bigger impact on them.
Women are also twice as likely to develop long COVID. If you got extremely ill or had to go to the hospital,