This One Thing Predicts How Long You'll Be Battling COVID

Did this happen early on in your illness? Then you're likely to have long-term COVID.

As time goes on, doctors are learning more and more how many COVID patients can't seem to shake their symptoms. This phenomenon of survivors who are battling complications for weeks or even months on end has been referred to as long-term COVID. But since this is a new disease, much has been unknown regarding what may predict the likelihood of a patient experiencing long-lasting symptoms. Now, thanks to a new study out of King's College London, researchers have determined the one thing that predicts whether or not you will experience long-term COVID.

For the study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, researchers looked at data from 4,182 people who tested positive for the virus who had been logging their symptoms in the COVID Symptom Study app. Through their analysis, the King's College London team was able to determine that patients who experienced more than five symptoms during the first week of illness were most likely to experience long-lasting symptoms—specifically symptoms that lasted more than 28 days.

"Having more than five different symptoms in the first week was one of the key risk factors," Claire Steves, PhD, from King's College, told BBC News.

Read on to discover the five symptoms experienced in the first week of illness that are most predictive of long-term COVID, according to the study's findings. And for more up-to-date coronavirus guidance, The CDC Now Says You Can Catch COVID From Someone in Exactly This Long.


Life during covid-19 pandemic. Portrait of stressed stylish woman in blue blouse with medical mask outdoors on the city street.


asian man wearing a mask has a headache

Trouble breathing (dyspnoea)

woman alone in house at night has hand on chest as she struggles to breath

Hoarse voice

Man with sore throat

Muscle pain (myalgia)

neck and shoulder pain, old woman suffering from neck and shoulder injury, health problem concept

And for more on where COVID is headed, find out which 10 States Are on the Verge of COVID Surges.

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