Long Covid: Three types of virus revealed but what are the symptoms?

Tap above to watch video report by Divya Kohli

There are three different ‘types’ of long Covid, London researchers have revealed, each with its own set of symptoms. Researchers at King's College London examined 1,459 people living with long Covid – defined by the study authors as suffering symptoms for at least 84 days after infection. The team concluded that people with long Covid appear to be split into three main groups, including:

  • Those with neurological symptoms including fatigue, brain fog and headache – most commonly found among those who became infected when the most dominant strains were alpha and delta

  • A second group experienced respiratory symptoms including chest pain and shortness of breath. This was found more commonly among those infected during the first wave of the virus

  • A final group are experiencing a diverse range of symptoms including heart palpitations, muscle ache and pain, and changes in skin and hair

Researchers said these three subtypes were evident in all variants. Clinical lead author Dr Claire Steves, from King’s College London, said: "These data show clearly that post-Covid syndrome is not just one condition, but appears to have at several subtypes. "Understanding the root causes of these subtypes may help in finding treatment strategies. "Moreover, these data emphasise the need for long Covid services to incorporate a personalised approach sensitive to the issues of each individual." Author Dr Liane Canas, from King’s College London, added: "These insights could aid in the development of personalised diagnosis and treatment for these individuals."

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