Long covid: what it is and how to recognize it, starting from the throat

The long COVID it is a clinical syndrome characterized by the presence of some symptoms that persist after Covid recovery. Here’s what it is and how to recognize it.

Symptoms of COVID-19

Covid 19 has evolved a lot in these two years, as we know it has had several variants that led to different symptoms.

If in fact, at first COVID-19 was characterized by a greater involvement of the lower airways, with high fever, cough and even problems with the bronchi, we then saw how the symptoms are gradually linked only to a cold.

The diagnosis of infection is carried out using an antigenic or molecular swab, currently the disease lasts from 7 to 10 days and one comes out of quarantine with a single negative swab.

Long COVID: what is it and what are the symptoms?

Long COVID is a clinical syndrome that affects a good portion of those who have had COVID-19. These people are unable to overcome all symptoms of covid or have some discomfort after some time.

THE symptoms of long COVID, in general they include:

  • Persistent fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Lack of appetite
  • Muscle aches

THE specific symptoms they occur in particular at the respiratory, cardiovascular, neurological, gastrointestinal and psychological levels; I am an example:

  • Air hunger and cough
  • Chest pain and tightness, tachycardia and palpitations, arrhythmias, changes in blood pressure
  • Headache
  • Disturbances of smell and taste
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, diarrhea
  • Sleep disturbances, depression of mood (sadness, irritability, intolerance, lack of interest in activities that previously enjoyed), anxiety, stress, psychosis.

It is good that those who have these symptoms can refer to a general practitioner or a specialist, explaining that they have had the covid. As a rule, many of the symptoms resolve, but there are data in China that indicate a persistence of problems in some subjects two years after the acute illness.

Unfortunately, the i mechanisms that determine long COVID and several elements seem to be involved: damage to the nervous system or to the immune system.

Does long COVID only affect those who have had a severe form of COVID-19?

There is growing evidence that the quality of acute infection is not a determining factor in the onset of this symptomatology.

As a rule, there is a correlation between the severity of the disease and the risk of long COVID, but the picture is observed even after relatively mild forms. If in the first forms of COVID-19 disease and in the later ones associated with the Delta variant there was a correlation between the severity of the infection and long COVID, with the Omicron variant this evidence disappears and therefore even in case of mild infection or asymptomatic infection, you can have Long Covid.

Finally, an analysis by researchers from King’s College London, published in a letter on June 18, 2022, shows how infection with the Omicron variant is associated with a lower risk of Long COVID compared to infection with the Delta variant. However, the great spread of Omicron and its greater contagiousness (compared to the Delta variant) suggest the possibility that in the future a large number of people will develop symptoms of long COVID.

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