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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s tally of 19 possible long COVID symptoms comes with the caveat that it’s “not a comprehensive list.”
Yale Medicine counts 22 symptoms, while the Mayo Clinic lists 10. And Great Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) puts the number at 16.
These lists can be made even longer. For instance, the NHS has “high temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat and changes to sense of smell or taste” as one symptom. Mayo lists “difficulty thinking or concentrating, headache, sleep problems, dizziness when you stand, pins-and-needles feeling, loss of smell or taste and depression or anxiety” as one symptom.
Narrowing down exactly what symptoms point to long COVID would be a start, and researchers at the University of Missouri (MU) think they’ve done just that by slimming the field of long COVID symptoms down to just seven: fast-beating heart, hair loss, fatigue, chest pain, shortness of breath, joint pain and obesity.
Their study in Open Forum Infectious Diseases said that “understanding the population and subgroup risks for long COVID associated with outcomes, including lingering and chronic never-before-experienced symptoms and new medical diagnoses such as those reported here, is important for clinicians and researchers so that clinical guidelines for treatments and symptom management can be more appropriately developed for the growing number of adults affected by COVID-19.”