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Long-haulers get COVID-19 symptoms in waves, new research suggests

There’s some new research that suggests COVID-19 symptoms come in waves for long-haulers

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Annie Jarman shows a new inhaler her doctor suggested she try at her home in Utah due to long COVID-19.

Annie Jarman shows a new inhaler her doctor suggested she try at her home in Murray on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. Jarman tested positive for COVID-19 on July 8, 2020, about a week after symptoms started, and still continued to report lingering symptoms. There’s some new research that suggests COVID-19 symptoms come in waves for long-haulers.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

New research suggestslong-term symptoms of the novel coronavirusmay come in waves stretching for weeks and even months, NBC News reports.

Context

Some COVID-19 patients have reported coronavirus symptoms weeks if not months after their diagnosis — often referred to as “long-haulers.” 

  • Some of the long-haul symptoms include exhaustion, shortness of breath, headaches, fast heartbeats, changes in taste and smell and brain fog, among other symptoms.

What’s going on?

Natalie Lambert, an associate research professor at Indiana University School of Medicine, recently surveyed thousands of “long COVID” patients and found their symptoms come in regular intervals — about one week or 10 days, NBC News reports.

  • She said these are “waves of symptoms.”

Lambert previously told The New York Times that some symptoms from COVID-19 pop up months after the initial infection. Patients might not even know those are “long-COVID” symptoms, either.

  • “Another important component is that we know that some of the long-haul symptoms show up much later than two months,” Lambert told The New York Times. “So there’s a potential for a wide range of long-haul symptoms that they’re not going to associate with COVID.”

What’s next?

Lambert told NBC News that more research is needed to confirm the results, which she didn’t publish in a medical journal.

However, Dr. Richard Walker, chairman of emergency medicine for the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, told NBC News that the work from Lambert was “very important.”

  • “Any time we can predict the course of the disease, it offers us the ability to mitigate problems,” Walker said.