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These 5 COVID-19 symptoms predict whether you’re a long-hauler or not

A new study in the journal Nature Medicine revealed symptoms of ‘long-COVID’

Weber State University begins the first day of widescale COVID-19 testing for students and employees at the Ogden campus on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020. Weber State had previously offered free testing for anyone with possible coronavirus symptoms. The new process will allow for free rapid testing for thousands of people even if they aren’t showing symptoms.
Weber State University begins the first day of widescale COVID-19 testing for students and employees at the Ogden campus on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020. Weber State had previously offered free testing for anyone with possible coronavirus symptoms. The new process will allow for free rapid testing for thousands of people even if they aren’t showing symptoms.
Benjamin Zack, Weber State University

A new study suggests that specific COVID-19 symptoms could predict how long the symptoms might last, suggesting there are symptoms that predict whether or not someone will become a long-hauler.

What’s going on?

A new study published Wednesday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Medicine found that patients who suffer from five specific COVID-19 symptoms in the first week of illness are more likely to become long-haulers.

Those five symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Hoarse voice
  • Muscle pain
  • Difficulty breathing

A look at the numbers

Per USA Today, the study comes from researchers at King’s College London, Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital. The study’s researchers asked COVID-19 patients from the U.S., U.K. and Sweden about their symptoms through a smartphone app survey.

  • The study found 13% of 4,000 participants reported symptoms that lasted more than 28 days. Meanwhile, 4% reported symptoms for eight weeks and 2% reported symptoms for more than 12 weeks, according to USA Today.
  • Study co-author Dr. Christina Astley, a physician scientist at Boston Children’s Hospital, told USA Today: “If you think about it, 1 in 20 people who have COVID-19 will have symptoms lasting eight weeks or more.”

Other research

A study from researchers at the University of Washington revealed some of the common COVID-19 symptoms for long-haulers include fatigue, which was reported by 13.6% of participants, and loss of smell and taste was also reported by 13.6%.

A separate 13% said they suffered from muscle aches, breathing troubles, cough and brain fog months after infection, which I wrote about for the Deseret News.

  • “Our research indicates that the health consequences of COVID-19 extend far beyond acute infection, even among those who experience mild illness,” the authors wrote in the study, according to LiveScience.

Correction: This article previously said 2% of patients reported symptoms for more than 12 days. It was actually 12 weeks.