A recent study found that your chances of developing lasting COVID-19 symptoms are increased if other family members in your home have these symptoms.
A group of researchers from the University of Freiburg made the surprising discovery after studying 1,267 children and adults in Germany from 341 various family situations. At least one member of each of these households had a mild or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection 11 to 12 months or more prior to the start of the investigation.
Their main discovery was that long-COVID symptoms frequently occur in families in clusters. In conclusion, there was a strong correlation between the number of chronic symptoms in one person and the number of other household members.
This held true regardless of whether the person had COVID-19 or had only recently been exposed to the virus.
The researchers suggested that there could be a few causes behind this. First off, a SARS-CoV-2 infection may predispose both parents and their offspring to experience persistent symptoms. Second, how parents perceived or reported their children’s symptoms may have been influenced by how they perceived or reported their own symptoms.
The study did not attempt to explain the connection it discovered, so there may still be other explanations available. For instance, earlier research suggested that certain genotypes might have an effect on long-COVID severity. This may help to partially explain why some families seem to be suffering more than others.
The majority of COVID-19 sufferers recover completely within a few weeks, however, for a sizeable minority, these symptoms may linger for several weeks or months. The term “long-COVID” or “long-haul COVID” has come to refer to this.
Although estimates might vary greatly, it is believed that up to 12% of SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals experience symptoms 12 weeks after contracting the virus. This can cause symptoms like fatigue, soreness in the muscles, breathlessness, headaches, changes in or a loss of smell, disorientation, “brain fog,” and a variety of cognitive issues.
Despite how prevalent and severe long-COVID can be, researchers are only now beginning to understand its root cause. This most recent investigation into long-COVID offers some new information that might aid in unraveling the mystery of the disease.
Nearly one in four exposed persons reported having at least one symptom that was still present 11 to 12 months after being exposed to the virus, according to the study’s findings. They found that compared to infected men, infected women (36.4 percent) had a higher prevalence of moderate or severe persistent symptoms (22.9 percent). Furthermore, younger children had a significantly lower risk of long-COVID than their parents did.