A total of 669 people were followed (mean age 43 years, 60% female, 25% of healthcare professionals and 69% without underlying risk factors that could be related to complications from COVID-19). At 6 weeks from diagnosis, nearly a third of participants still had one or more symptoms related to COVID-19, mainly fatigue (14%), shortness of breath (9%) and loss of taste or smell (12%). In addition, 6% reported a persistent cough and 3% reported headaches. Dr. Mayssam Nehme, Senior Resident in Professor Guessous’s team and first author of this work, also explains how these patients felt: “In addition to the physical distress of their symptoms, many were very worried: how much longer would it last? Were some after-effects irrecoverable? Even without a clear medical answer, in the current state of knowledge, it is important to accompany concerned patients and to listen to them,” she adds. With this in mind, the HUG has set up a specific consultation for long COVID patients in order to improve their care and guide them through the health system.
These results, which can be seen in the Annals of Internal Medicine, call for better communication, particularly with patients and with the physicians who follow them, and for ongoing messages to the general public, reminding them that SARS-CoV-2infection is not trivial.
Release date: 08 December 2020
Source: Université de Genève