There are three different types of long Covid, researchers say, and each has its own set of symptoms.
Experts from King’s College London looked at 1,459 people living with long Covid – defined by the study authors as having symptoms for at least 84 days after infection – and found that there appeared to be three ‘subtypes’ of the condition.
A preprint of the study, published on medRxiv, revealed that people with long Covid appeared to be divided into three main groups, including:
However, the researchers said the three subtypes were evident in all variants.
Lead clinical author Dr. Claire Steves, from King’s College London, said: “These data clearly show that post-Covid Syndrome is not just one condition but appears to have multiple subtypes.
“Understanding the root causes of these subtypes can aid in the search for treatment strategies.
“Furthermore, this data underscores the need for long Covid services to incorporate a personalized approach that addresses each individual’s concerns.”
dr Liane Canas of King’s College London, who also took part in the study, added: “These findings could aid in the development of personalized diagnosis and treatment for these individuals.”
Last week, it emerged that one in 20 people who contract Covid-19 have long-term smell or taste problems as a result, according to a study published in the BMJ reviewing data from 18 studies involving 3,699 patients.
This could mean that millions of people around the world have suffered from smell and taste problems for at least six months after contracting Covid.
The loss or change in smell or taste can cause people to experience “severe distress”, scientists said, as they urged health systems to be prepared to support people who often feel “isolated” when they are from clinicians are dismissed.
LatestPageNews recently reported on the case of flight attendant Katherine Francis, who had to quit her job because her long Covid symptoms were so severe.
The 29-year-old from Burgess Hill, West Sussex, contracted Covid in October 2020 and left her job in March 2022. 22 months later, she is still struggling with severe breathing pains, a chronic cough and muscle weakness, among other things, from her original infection.
The latest figures show that UK Covid-19 infections are up by around 7 per cent, with the ongoing surge still being driven by the latest Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5.
The number of hospitals is also increasing, with early signs of an increase in ICU admissions among older age groups.
In the week ended July 14, an estimated 3.8 million people in homes had the coronavirus, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). There were around 3.3million cases across the UK in the previous week.
That’s the highest estimate for total infections since late April, but is still well below the record high of 4.9 million recorded in late March at the peak of the Omicron BA.2 wave.
Additional coverage by Press Association