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Covid symptoms warning as study discovers which signs can last for two years

By Daniel Morrow

Experts have found that some Covid symptoms can exist for more than two years, according to a new study.

The study, which was published in The Lancet, found that half of patients involved experienced symptoms in the two years that followed infection.

According to researchers, the most common symptoms were fatigue and muscle weakness.

The study also found that survivors of Covid were more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression.

Survivors with long Covid symptoms are said to have experienced worse exercise capacity, more mental health problems and increased health care use after being discharged compared to those without long Covid.

The study has the longest follow-up period of patients to date and involved former Covid patients who were discharged from the Jun Yin-tan Hospital in Wuhan between January 9 and May 29, 2020.

Given coronavirus emerged in late 2019, researchers are only able to analyse what symptoms existed in the last two years.

A total of 1,192 patients agreed to complete assessments on their health in three stages - one after six months, the other after a year and the final one coming two years after the initial infection.

Researchers carried out six minute walking tests, laboratory tests and a series of questionnaires on symptoms, mental health, health related quality of life, return to work and healthcare usage after discharge.

It found that 650 of these patients (55 per cent) had at least sequelae symptom in the two years that followed infection.

Symptoms of fatigue and muscle weakness were said to be the most frequent.

Professor Bin Cao, of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, said: “Our findings indicate that for a certain proportion of hospitalised Covid-19 survivors, while they may have cleared the initial infection, more than two years is needed to recovery fully.”

Long Covid has been described by NHS Scotland has symptoms that can last for ‘a few weeks or longer’ following the initial infection from the virus.

Healthcare professional may refer to long Covid as ‘ongoing symptomatic’ - which is four to 12 weeks after infection - or ‘post Covid-19 syndrome’ - which is over 12 weeks.

Experts are trying to learn more about the new condition, which is said to affect more than 1.3 million people across the UK.

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