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“Long Colds” Emerged Beyond Covid, Changing Our Understanding of Respiratory Infections

Although the severity of initial illness appears to influence the risk of enduring prolonged symptoms, studies are ongoing to understand the reasons behind this variation in individual responses.

The findings indicate that non-COVID acute respiratory infections, such as the common cold, influenza or pneumonia, may have unrecognized long-term health effects. However, the research does not yet provide evidence that these symptoms are as severe or persistent as those seen in long-term cases of Covid.

Funded by Barts Charitythe study compared the prevalence and intensity of long-term symptoms after COVID-19 with symptoms after non-COVID acute respiratory infections. People who recovered from COVID-19 were more prone to lightheadedness or dizziness and problems with taste and smell compared to people with a different respiratory infection.

Although long-term Covid-19 is a recognized illness, the long-term effects of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection have been limited compared to other respiratory infections.

The research is part of Queen Mary University of London’s COVIDENCE UK national research project on COVID-19, which started in 2020 and still has more than 19,000 participants. This study analyzed data from 10,171 British adults using questionnaires and statistical analysis to identify symptoms.

Giulia VivaldiA COVIDENCE UK researcher at Queen Mary University of London and lead author of the study, commented: “Our findings not only highlight the impact of prolonged Covid, but also shed light on other respiratory infections. Lack of awareness and common terminology hinders the reporting and diagnosis of these diseases.”

“As the study of prolonged Covid progresses, we must seize the opportunity to study the lasting effects of other acute respiratory infections. The complexity of these ‘long’ infections lies in their difficulty in diagnosing and treating them due to the large number of possible symptoms, and over 200 have been studied at length due to Covid alone,” Vivaldi added.

Professor Adrian Martineau, Principal Investigator of COVIDENCE UK and Clinical Professor of Respiratory Infections and Immunity at Queen Mary University of London, highlighted the importance of the ongoing research. “Our findings are consistent with the experiences of individuals who have struggled with prolonged symptoms following respiratory infections despite testing negative for COVID-19. Continuing to study the long-term effects of COVID-19 and other acute respiratory infections is critical. Understanding why some symptoms persist is vital , because it can guide us toward appropriate treatments and therapies.”

Victoria King, Barts Charity’s Head of Funding and Impact, highlighted the research’s contribution to raising awareness of chronic respiratory infections. “Studies like this are invaluable. As we learn more about prolonged Covid symptoms and potential treatments, this study will help raise awareness of other long-term respiratory infections that may be overlooked,” he said, emphasizing the importance of these findings for broader public health awareness. and understanding.

Source: Nord News

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