New studies reveal hair loss, sexual dysfunction among new symptoms of long COVID – 7NEWS


Emerging studies have found people experiencing long COVID actually face a wider set of symptoms than first thought, with hair loss and erectile dysfunction now commonly reported.
A UK study found hair loss now being reported as a major side-effect alongside the more common, already well-known, long COVID symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath and muscle pain.
Hair loss already affects an estimated half of all Australian men and a third of women with stress, hormones and genetics all huge factors.
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Deb Jones was suffering from hair loss after a bout of COVID this year.
“It was just coming out in handfuls,” she told 7NEWS.
“It was all over the floor, my vacuum cleaner looked like a birds nest.
“I thought at this rate I’m going to be bald.”
At first, she didn’t put her hair loss and the possibility of long COVID together.
“I put it down just to being unwell,” she said.
And now, while she’s still battling some long COVID symptoms, the hair loss has thankfully stopped.
She put that down to The Hairy Pill, a treatment option invented by dermatologist Professor Rod Sinclair.
Sinclair told 7NEWS his clinic has seen an uptick of people who already had some hair loss problems but their condition worsened soon after having COVID.
“We’re seeing this … where people have been on treatment and stable and suddenly had a flare up,” he said.
“The chatter among the hair experts has been there does seem to be a very clear relationship between COVID, and in particular long COVID, with hair loss.”
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Another newer symptom reported by the study was sexual dysfunction, including difficulties ejaculating and reduced libido.
A separate Northwestern Medicine study, released in March, found COVID can infect multiple tissues of the male genital tract.
Researchers using a PET scan had expected to see the virus in the lungs and also nose, due to the widely reported symptoms of loss of taste and smell.
“But the signal that jumped out at us was the complete spread through the male genital tract,” lead investigator Thomas Hope told SciTechDaily.
“These results indicate that the testicular pain, erectile dysfunction, hypogonadism, reduced sperm count and quality, and decreased fertility associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection are a direct consequence of infection of cells of the male reproductive tract and not indirect mechanisms such as fever and inflammation.”
He said the findings will help to increase the medical communities understanding of long COVID and aid in developing “therapies targeting different long COVID comorbidities”.
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