Numerous COVID-19 patients recover in a few weeks, but some experience long-haul symptoms.
Months after contracting the virus, approximately 10% of patients are still fighting to recover.
Some of the most widespread lingering symptoms include body pains, unrefreshing sleep, cardiac problems, shortness of breath, fatigue after exertion, and brain fog.
Though most of the complaints considerably improve over time, research suggests that a cloudy consciousness is difficult to get rid of.
278 long-haulers completed questionnaires where they were asked to compare their symptoms from the first two weeks of COVID to their current symptoms, approximately 22 weeks after that.
During that time, the study’s authors discovered that most problems got better over time, including post-exertional fatigue.
However, a number of symptoms got even worse – trouble forming words, sensitivity to alcohol, focus problems, loss of hair, and absent-mindedness.
The discoveries are on par with the initial reports, suggesting that long haulers’ biggest problems consist of cognitive difficulties.
However, the reason why that happens is still a mystery, but reports of brain fog are also a telltale sign of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME).
CFS / ME is a perplexing disease with no known cause, but evidence suggests the disease is the result of an overactive immune system, according to Sciencealert.
It is believed that some instances may be the result of viral infections.
Curiously, long-haul symptoms from COVID-19 show numerous similarities to ME / CFS, which is the reason why researchers are willing to put the two side to side and compare them.
Further research suggested that the patients with ME / CFS manifested more severe overall symptoms, particularly when it came to cognitive issues like immune problems or brain fog.