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New research identifies three distinct types of long Covid

THERE are three distinct types of long Covid each with their own set of symptoms, new research suggests. 

Experts from King’s College London said their findings, published on medRxiv today, could help the two million people in the UK estimated to be suffering from the little-understood condition. 

The most common group identified were those with neurological symptoms including fatigue, brain fog and headaches, while a second group experienced respiratory symptoms including chest pain and shortness of breath.

A final group are experiencing a diverse range of symptoms including heart palpitations, muscle ache and pain and changes in skin and hair, the researchers said.

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.”

Researchers added that the findings could help the development of personalised diagnosis and treatment for the condition. 

Despite the prevalence of the condition, MPs and campaigners have accused ministers of failing to take long Covid seriously. 

Although the research has still be be peer reviewed and evaluated, the TUC has called on the government to recognise long Covid as a disability to ensure they are protected under employment laws. 

It said the new research is a reminder of how many people are affected by symptoms of the condition. 

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Many employers aren’t supporting people the way they should.

“And that means that thousands of working people with long Covid are left waiting instead of getting protection and support when they need it.”

She urged the government to change the Equality Act to ensure that everyone with the condition is recognised as disabled.

Research by the TUC last year found over half of people with long Covid surveyed had experienced some form of discrimination or disadvantage at work as result of the condition.

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