If You Can't Do This, You May Have Had COVID, New Study Finds

More than half of coronavirus patients reported this symptom months after infection.

One of the scariest new developments in the coronavirus pandemic is learning that some patients are still struggling with symptoms months after their initial diagnosis. More and more studies are being done on those suffering from "long COVID"—also known as "long-haul COVID"—where complications from the virus can persist long after the patient has gotten sick. In fact, one recent report found that there's a good chance you could be struggling to catch your breath months after a COVID infection. Read on to find out more about the recent findings, and for other signs of coronavirus, If Your Food Tastes Like These 2 Things, You May Have COVID.

An Oct. 15 study from Oxford University, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, found that over half of COVID patients discharged from one U.K. hospital experienced long-term COVID symptoms two or three months after getting sick. Specifically, 64 percent of the patients studied suffered from "persistent breathlessness."

The shortness of breath could have a frightening cause: MRI scans of the patients in the Oxford study revealed that 60 percent had lung abnormalities. Other patients had abnormalities in their kidneys (29 percent), hearts (26 percent), and livers (10 percent). The abnormalities seem to be a result of inflammation, researchers said.

"This suggests a potential link between chronic inflammation and ongoing organ damage among survivors," co-lead researcher Betty Raman, DPhil, a doctor at Oxford's Radcliffe Department of Medicine, told Reuters.

Shortness of breath was not the only long COVID symptom identified by researchers. Over half the patients—55 percent—reported "significant fatigue." Fatigue has been cited repeatedly as a common long-lasting symptom of coronavirus. A September study out of Ireland found that the symptom was more likely to affect women than men, and that it also occurred in coronavirus patients who had not been hospitalized.

The recent Oxford study is only the latest on long COVID, which is becoming a more frequent topic of discussion several months into the pandemic. Given that it hasn't yet been a full year since the pandemic hit, however, there's no telling what long-term symptoms patients could be suffering from down the line. In the meantime, Raman said, "these findings underscore the need to further explore the physiological processes associated with COVID-19 and to develop a holistic, integrated model of clinical care for our patients after they have been discharged from hospital."

The Oxford research is an important step forward in identifying the frequent complications of a COVID infection. But even before this most recent study, long-haul COVID patients have been monitoring and discussing their persistent coronavirus symptoms on their own. Keep reading for the 10 most common long-term COVID symptoms, as reported in the Body Politic COVID-19 Support Group. And for a full list of complications, these are The Longest Lasting COVID Symptoms You Need to Know About.


Dizzy woman sitting on couch

41.86 percent of patients

And for more surprising coronavirus signs, If You Can't Smell These 2 Things, You May Have COVID.

Memory problems

confused older white man pointing at calendar

45.56 percent of patients


Woman with children experiencing anxiety and stress at home

47.61 percent of patients

And if you aren't sure why you're not feeling well, This One "Wacky" Symptom Means You Have COVID, Not the Flu.

Difficulty sleeping

A depressed senior man lying in bed cannot sleep from insomnia

49.90 percent of patients


young white man putting his hand on his head and holding a glass of water

57.56 percent of patients

And for more on this symptom, check out This Common Ache May Be the Sign of a Worsening COVID Case, Study Says.

Inability to exercise or be active

Woman tired after exercising

58.56 percent of patients

Difficulty concentrating or focusing

Tired young man rubbing his eyes in front of a computer

58.97 percent of patients

Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Young woman trying to breathe
pathdoc / Shutterstock

65.10 percent of patients

And for more complications that famous long COVID patients have described, check out these Celebrities With Scary Long-Term COVID Symptoms.

Muscle or body aches

Woman with neck pain

66.75 percent of patients


Woman feeling negative emotions lying on the sofa

100 percent of patients

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