Doctors Research Patients Who Experience 'Long COVID'

Wednesday, October 21st 2020, 1:01 pm
By: CBS News

Researchers at King's College London are looking into why some people have the coronavirus longer than others.

They asked coronavirus patients to log their symptoms on an app.

Most recovered in under 11 days but 1 in 7 were sick for more than a month, while 1 in 50 reported being sick for more than 12 weeks.

Doctors say people at higher risk for what they call “long COVID” have more than five symptoms in their first week, are over 50 years old, are women, and have asthma.

"We wanted to have an idea of how much that might affect people, especially as we are going into a second wave now in the pandemic, where more and more people are going to get exposed to the virus,” said Dr. Claire Steves from King’s College London.

Vicky Bourne went from ziplining on vacation and hitting the gym several times a week to dealing with waves of illness after catching the coronavirus in March.

"I lost my sense of taste and smell again, it just went, completely. I get really wheezy and breathless and I have to use an inhaler twice a day now,” she said.

As cases spike around the globe, doctors are creating a model to predict who is at most risk of long COVID. They hope their research will help prevent and treat the deadly virus.

The UK government has released a film aimed at raising awareness of long COVID symptoms. It's also investing more than $13 million into dedicated long COVID clinics in England.