There’s a lot we still don’t know about long COVID — what causes it, why some people suffer from it and not others, and why it affects the brain, nervous system, gastrointestinal system and more.
Sam McIntyre — @sammc413 on Twitter — created this infographic based on the research available so far after he himself struggled with long COVID.
- 10–30 percent of adults will experience some form of long COVID after infection. For children, a recent meta-analysis suggested a prevalence of 25.4 percent.
- Evidence suggests multiple infections can increase an individual’s risk of long COVID.
- Seventy-six percent of cases of long COVID happen after a mild COVID infection.
- A common and persistent symptom of long COVID is cognitive impairment. A few factors that contribute to this have been identified: reduced bloodflow and elevated neural immune activity can affect cognition, and there are a series of symptoms (sustained microglial reactivity and CCL11 elevation) that create an effect similar to what chemo patients experience that we call “brain fog.”