A new paper has given a name for long-term symptoms that test negative for COVID-19 - "long colds."

Coronavirus is very similar to the common cold, so similar that coronavirus was not known to be distinct until the 1960s. Most who were infected with SARS-CoV-2 and got COVID-19 experienced symptoms like a cold, but those with co-morbidities or who had severe reactions got more like a super flu, some with devastating effect. Even after recovery, some still report lingering effects, given rise to the term 'long COVID.'

A long cold may be similar. The authors say a long cold may include coughing, stomach pain, or diarrhea lasting four weeks and could be the same for influenza or pneumonia.

The survey says those recovering from COVID-19 were more likely to experience light-headedness or dizziness and problems with taste and smell compared to those who had a non-COVID-19 respiratory infection. The authors looks at survey data from 10,171 UK adults enrolled in COVIDENCE UK, Queen Mary University of London’s pool of 19,000 participants created during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Giulia Vivaldi, researcher on COVIDENCE UK from Queen Mary University of London and the lead author of the study, said, “As research into long Covid continues, we need to take the opportunity to investigate and consider the lasting effects of other acute respiratory infections. These ‘long’ infections are so difficult to diagnose and treat primarily because of a lack of diagnostic tests and there being so many possible symptoms. There have been more than 200 investigated for long Covid alone.”