A study released last weekend further promoted the discovery of existing evidence that for many people infected with the new coronavirus, the so-called “long COVID” has become a reality, and researchers found that this is the largest cohort study on this topic. To date, certain COVID-19 symptoms (ie fatigue and muscle weakness) have persisted for up to six months after the initial infection.
The study, published last Friday in the medical journal The Lancet, studied more than 1,700 hospitalized coronavirus patients from Wuhan, China, where the pandemic began last year.
Researchers found that an estimated 76% of patients reported at least one new virus symptom within a few months after discharge, the most common of which were fatigue or muscle weakness and difficulty sleeping.
Among the patients in the study, 63% reported fatigue or muscle weakness six months after infection, and 26% reported difficulty sleeping after the same amount of time.
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Anxiety and depression followed, and it was reported that 23% of patients had these symptoms in the six patients at the most after the study infection.
The researchers wrote that at the same time, patients who were hospitalized with severe illness had “lung spreading ability getting worse and worse, and chest imaging findings were abnormal.”
The researchers concluded: “These results indicate that critically ill patients need post-discharge care.” “To understand the full impact of COVID-19 on health, it is necessary to conduct longer follow-up studies in a larger population.”
The study was conducted after a separate study with King’s College London, UK in late October. At the time, researchers used the COVID Symptom Research app to analyze the symptoms of 4,182 coronavirus patients who had recorded their illnesses. They pointed out that 558 patients had symptoms that lasted more than 28 days, while 189 patients had symptoms that lasted more than 8 weeks, and 95 patients had symptoms that lasted more than 12 weeks.
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Researchers found that in long-term COVID patients, the most common symptoms are fatigue, headache, dyspnea and insomnia, and they are more likely to occur in elderly patients, patients with higher BMI, and female patients.
As for another possible long-term COVID side effect, some coronavirus survivors report a distorted sense of smell, describing an unpleasant fishy or sulfur smell.
Alexandria Hein and Kayla Rivas of Fox News contributed to this report.