People who are suffering from 'long Covid' have amassed a list of up to 200 possible symptoms, including a decrease in size of penis and/or testicles, tinnitus, hallucinations and aggression, according to a new study.
The first of its kind study took a 'holistic approach' to the long term impact of covid and has compiled a list of dozens of potential symptoms.
The study, which was published in the Lancet's journal EClinicalMedicine, looked at 3,762 people from 56 countries who had either confirmed or suspected long Covid.
Researchers found 203 potential symptoms, of which 66 were tracked for seven months.
While the most commonly mentioned symptoms included fatigue, brain fog and post-exertional malaise - subjects also mentioned other less well-known effects such as tremors, itchy skin, a decrease in penis size, sexual dysfunction and blurred vision.
Commenting on the study, Dr Athena Akrami a neuroscientist at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre at UCL and senior author on the study said: "A lot of post-Covid clinics in the UK have focused on respiratory rehabilitation.
"It's true that a lot of people have shortness of breath, but they also have a lot of other problems and types of symptoms that the clinics need to provide a more holistic approach to.
"While there has been a lot of public discussion around long Covid, there are few systematic studies investigating this population.
"In this unique approach, we have gone directly to 'long haulers' around the world in order to establish a foundation of evidence for medical investigation, improvement of care, and advocacy for the long Covid population.
"This is the most comprehensive characterisation of long Covid symptoms, so far."
The researchers say a national screening programme would help to give medical professionals a better understanding of how many people are affected by long covid and in what ways.
They have also called for new clinical guidelines to be introduced for assessing and diagnosing those who have suspected long Covid.
Dr Akrami added: ""There are likely to be tens of thousands of long Covid patients suffering in silence, unsure that their symptoms are connected to Covid-19.
"Building on the network of long Covid clinics, which take GP referrals, we now believe a national programme could be rolled out into communities able to screen, diagnose and treat all those suspected of having long Covid symptoms."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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