Exhaustion, headaches: Symptoms of Long Covid highlighted by Belgian study

As we find ourselves dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic for a longer time, researchers are continually learning more about the effects of the virus on people’s health. A recent Belgian study has now highlighted the main symptoms and who is most at risk of Long Covid.

In February last year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) drew attention to the syndrome, stating that about one in ten Covid-19 sufferers remains unwell after 12 weeks, and “many for much longer.” Six months later, a Belgian survey found that at least one in seven patients still experience symptoms half a year after being ill with Covid-19.

Sciensano survey

Now, a Sciensano survey has founds that half of participants (47%) reported having at least one symptom three months after their Covid-19 infection, while this was the case for 32% after six months.

Those who continued to show one or more symptoms six months after a Covid-19 infection most commonly reported feelings of fatigue or exhaustion. Other common persistent symptoms were headache (32%), memory and concentration problems (32%), muscle pain (28%), breathing difficulties (27%) and sleep disturbances (22%).

A quarter (23%) of the respondents stated that they had received a medical diagnosis of long-term Covid in the six months following infection.

“Our results show that for those who continue to suffer after six months, the negative impact on their daily lives and on their physical, mental and social health remains significant on average,” Pierre Smith, a Sciensano researcher, stated.

Meanwhile, some 30% of participants with Long Covid (after three and six months) feel fully recovered, meaning not all those that show symptoms feel less healthy.

The study also found that some participants were more likely than others to have Long Covid at three and six months after infection, including women, individuals with a lower level of education or with a history of chronic disease, people who are overweight or obese, or people who were hospitalised due to the infection.



Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.

About belganewsagency.eu

Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels