Scientists discover symptoms which predict Long Covid, which affects 1 in 20

21 October 2020, 19:17 | Updated: 21 October 2020, 19:19

By Fiona Jones

Scientist Dr Claire Stevens has found the early indicators that someone will develop Long Covid, a condition that affects one in 20 people. She tells LBC the latest findings.

Senior clinical lecturer at King's College London Dr Claire Stevens has found a "significant" number of people, 1 in 20, have Covid symptoms for over eight weeks.

"We discovered Long Covid is more likely if you're over 50 and if you're a lady. We can predict who might get Long Covid from symptoms they get: in the first week of illness, having more than five symptoms leads to an increase risk of Long Covid in the future," Dr Claire said.

She told Eddie that specific symptoms do not necessarily suggest Long Covid individually, but the number of symptoms which is the biggest indicator.

She suggests this finding may open the door for early prevention methods, such as giving steroids or anti-viral treatments to those who have started to develop the relevant symptoms.

"If we can identify them, we can follow them up and make sure they get rehabilitation services that they need to get over Long Covid," Dr Claire said.

A plethora of LBC listeners have called in with Long Covid, saying they have been suffering for many months.

Dr Claire agreed: "We're finding in our study that 2.5% of people are getting symptoms for longer than three months and as you say, there are reports of people having six months or more of things like brain fog...cardiac symptoms such as heart rate, and sense of taste for very many months.