“Long COVID”: More than a quarter of COVID-19 patients still symptomatic after 6 months
In a new study of adults from the general population who were infected with COVID-19 in 2020, more than a quarter report not having fully recovered after six to eight months. Those findings are described in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.
In the new study, researchers recruited 431 participants from within the contact tracing system in Zurich, Switzerland. All participants had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 between February and August 2020, and completed an online questionnaire about their health a median of 7.2 months after their diagnosis. Symptoms had been present at diagnosis in 89% of the participants and 19% were initially hospitalized. Compared to individuals not participating in the study, participants were younger–with an average age of 47.
Overall, 26% of participants reported that they had not fully recovered at six to eight months after initial COVID-19 diagnosis. 55% reported symptoms of fatigue, 25% had some degree of shortness of breath, and 26% had symptoms of depression. A higher percentage of females and initially hospitalized patients reported not having recovered compared to males and non-hospitalized individuals. A total of 40% of participants reported at least one general practitioner visit related to COVID-19 after their acute illness. The authors say that their findings underscore the need for the timely planning of resources and patient services for post-COVID-19 care.
Release date: 13 July 2021