New study warns of long-term colds What are they?
(CNN) — Feeling tired even after getting rid of an infection? According to a new study, it could be the “long cold.”
Like Covid-19, where symptoms persist long after the infection has cleared, researchers have found that other respiratory infections can continue to affect people who think they’ve gotten over them.
“This study is important because it not only reiterates the enormous impact that Covid-19 can have (in the long term), but also highlights that people with other respiratory infections also struggle to recover from an acute episode,” he said. The study’s lead author, Giulia Vivaldi, is a statistician and epidemiologist at the Covid-19 UK study at Queen Mary University of London.
According to a 2022 study, 1.3% of children and 6.9% of adults reported being chronically infected with Covid, which the researchers defined as having symptoms lasting at least three months after infection.
In a recent scientific work, Published Friday in The Lancet journal EClincialMedicine, more than 10,000 people were surveyed, asking them to report whether they had each of 16 symptoms of chronic Covid-19, Vivaldi explained. The researchers also asked whether they had a covid-19 infection, another respiratory infection, or not.
People with Covid-19 and other respiratory infections are more likely to have persistent symptoms than those without the infection as of May 2020, according to a new study.
Symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, stomach problems, cough and trouble sleeping, the report said.
The study took into account other health issues that may have affected these symptoms, Vivaldi said.
A long history, but little study
Researchers can’t yet say how long the “long cold” lasts compared to a long Covid illness, but the new findings could spur new work on understanding, diagnosing and treating post-infection syndromes, the study said.
Dr David Strain, associate professor and honorary consultant at Exeter Medical School in the United Kingdom, said: “Although it was first explored prospectively, this is not a new phenomenon. Strain was not involved in the investigation.
In the early 20th century, the flu epidemic of 1918 left many with symptoms that lasted for decades, he added.
“In the UK today, approximately 280,000 people suffer from myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome), many of whom say the trigger is a fairly benign early viral illness,” Strain wrote in a statement.
According to Vivaldi, previous research on chronic symptoms has mostly focused on serious illnesses, and the Covid-19 pandemic is one of the few times clinical research has not focused solely on hospitalized patients.
“Patients have had to speak forcefully to bring the long-standing Covid-19 disease to the attention of the public and the medical community,” Vivaldi said in an email. “In memory of those patients, we must ensure that we do not lose the momentum we have in long-term Covid research, and use this opportunity to build our understanding and knowledge of post-infection syndromes in general.”
What you can expect from a prolonged cold
While there is still work to be done to learn how to reduce symptoms, experience with prolonged Covid makes it clear that persistent symptoms should be taken more seriously.
“People should expect a slow return to normal and should not expect to return to all activities immediately after an acute respiratory infection,” said Dr Peter Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London. Openshaw was not involved in the investigation.