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What Are The Top 5 Long Covid Symptoms In New Zealand?

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Lifelong female friends one with long covid symptoms catching up over coffee

Long Covid is a term used to describe the effects of COVID-19 that continue for weeks/months after, with Long Covid symptoms varying widely and affecting people differently.

Long Covid symptoms may change over time and new symptoms may develop. 

As there is no test for Long Covid, a diagnosis will be made on the basis of you having persistent and ongoing symptoms, after having being infected with COVID-19.

Long Covid symptoms – am I likely to get them?

Long Covid appears to be more common among people who had severe COVID-19 symptoms when they first got sick.

However, Long Covid can also affect those who had mild COVID-19 with minimal symptoms, and even people who had no symptoms at all when they first got infected.

Those most likely to get Long Covid are generally:

  • an older age
  • have more than one underlying chronic medical condition
  • a higher body mass index (obesity)
  • female
  • were admitted to hospital when they first got COVID 19

Long Covid symptoms are also common for many other conditions, can vary widely, and may also affect people differently.

Top 5 Long Covid symptoms

1. Respiratory symptoms

  • Breathlessness
  • Cough

2. Cardiovascular symptoms

  • Chest tightness
  • Chest pain
  • Palpitations

3. Neurological symptoms

  • Cognitive impairment (‘brain fog’, loss of concentration or memory issues)
  • Headache
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Pins and needles and numbness
  • Dizziness
  • Delirium (in older populations)
  • Mobility impairment
  • Visual disturbance
  • Musculoskeletal symptoms
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain

4. Generalised symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Pain
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Weight loss and reduced appetite

5. Ear, nose and throat symptoms

  • Tinnitus
  • Earache
  • Sore throat
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of taste and/or smell
  • Nasal congestion

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