Covid-19: 76% of Hospitalized Patients Reported Symptoms 6 Months Later

Henrietta Strickland
January 13, 2021

The study looked at the long-term effects Covid infection in 1,733 patients first diagnosed in Wuhan of China between January and May followed to June and September.

As the pandemic unfolded across the globe, patients joined Facebook groups, Twitter feeds, and other online support groups to share their stories of the symptoms that they were experiencing post-COVID, bringing visibility to an issue that has come to be called 'Long COVID'.

Nearly two-thirds of those followed still experienced fatigue or muscle weakness half a year after their acute illness, while 26% had sleep difficulties and 23% had anxiety or depression, according to the peer-reviewed study of 1,733 patients in The Lancet medical journal.

According to the team of researchers, the study is the biggest of its kind in terms of the number of participants and follow-up period. This was followed by sleep difficulties (26%) and anxiety or depression (23%).

"COVID-19 is a relatively new disease, so we still don't know everything about how it works", Cao stated. "The study also focuses on the need for countries to make post-discharge care available, especially for patients who suffer from severe cases of infectious disease".

According to a recent study in The Lancet journal, many Covid positive patients admitted in hospital for treatment have at least one existing symptom after six months of becoming infected with the virus. More than half of people who required ventilation had a reduced flow of oxygen from the lungs to the bloodstream, while about a quarter of others had that problem.

An Irish woman was taken to the hospital after she started developing blood clots after contracting COVID-19.

"Our work also underscores the importance of conducting longer follow-up studies in larger populations in order to understand the full spectrum of effects that Covid-19 can have on people".

The results reveal COVID patients with more severe cases of infection are increasingly likely to suffer long-term damage than those with a mild case.

"We've been concentrating on controlling patients who were severely ill, because of the situation we had in our hands", Deeks stated.

Researchers report that 76% of these patients had at least one symptom six months after symptoms began. About 350 patients were tested for lung function and had chest CT scans and ultrasounds.

According to research published on Saturday, this presents the need to further investigate the lingering effects of COVID-19.

The researchers noted that previous studies exploring long-term symptoms associated with Covid-19 have been much smaller and of shorter duration, with the longest follow-up being around 3 months. The former patients also underwent physical examinations and a 6-minute walking test and received blood tests.

Almost 400 patients also underwent further tests, including an assessment of their lung function, and 94 patients whose blood antibody levels were recorded at the height of the infection received a follow-up test.

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