Long Covid sufferers can get 3 different types - each with their own set of symptoms, researchers warn

If long Covid symptoms are having a big impact on your life, you may be referred to a specialist rehabilitation service or a service that specialises in the specific symptoms you have

There are three different types of long Covid, each with their own symptoms, researchers have said.

Experts from King’s College London said that there appears to be three “subtypes” of the condition.

There are three different types of long Covid, each with their own symptoms, researchers have said

Researchers examined 1,459 people living with long Covid - defined by the study authors as suffering symptoms for at least 84 days after infection - who were taking part in the Zoe Health study.

The pre-print of the study was published on medRxiv and claims that people with long Covid appear to be split into three main groups.

These are:

  1. Those with neurological symptoms - including fatigue, brain fog and headache. This is most commonly found among those who became infected when the most dominant strains were alpha and delta
  2.  A second group experienced respiratory symptoms - including chest pain and shortness of breath. This was found more commonly among those infected during the first wave of the virus
  3. A final group are experiencing a diverse range of symptoms - including heart palpitations, muscle ache and pain, and changes in skin and hair

Researchers said these three subtypes were evident in all variants.

Clinical lead author Dr Claire Steves, from King’s College London, said: “These data show clearly that post-Covid syndrome is not just one condition, but appears to have several subtypes.

“Understanding the root causes of these subtypes may help in finding treatment strategies.

“Moreover, these data emphasise the need for long Covid services to incorporate a personalised approach sensitive to the issues of each individual.”

First author Dr Liane Canas, from King’s College London, added: “These insights could aid in the development of personalised diagnosis and treatment for these individuals.”

What is the treatment for long Covid?

Your doctor will talk to you about the care and support you might need, the NHS said.

You may be given advice about how to manage and monitor your symptoms at home, but if the symptoms are having a big impact on your life, you may be referred to a specialist rehabilitation service or a service that specialises in the specific symptoms you have.

These services can help manage your symptoms and help you recover.