The study – , published in the Lancet’s journal EClinicalMedicine, surveyed 3,762 people with confirmed or suspected long Covid from 56 countries. It identified 203 symptoms, of which 66 were tracked for seven months.
The most common symptoms were fatigue, post-exertional malaise (where people’s health worsens after physical or mental exertion) and brain fog. Other effects included visual hallucinations, tremors, itchy skin, changes to the menstrual cycle, sexual dysfunction, heart palpitations, bladder control issues, shingles, memory loss, blurred vision, diarrhoea and tinnitus.
The researchers also captured the progression of symptoms over time. “After six months most of the remaining symptoms are systemic – things like temperature regulation, fatigue, post-exertional malaise – and neurological [affecting the brain, spinal cord and nerves],” Akrami said.