COVID-19 symptoms can persist after recovery

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In a new study, researchers found that most patients who have recovered from COVID-19 report persistence of at least one symptom.

The research was conducted by a team from Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli IRCCS in Rome.

The team followed up on patients who met the World Health Organization criteria for discontinuation of quarantine beginning April 21, 2020.

Data were collected on all clinical characteristics, including clinical and pharmacological history, lifestyle factors, vaccination status, and body measurements.

Data were included for 143 patients, with a mean age of 56.5 years. The researchers found that 72.7 percent of participants had evidence of interstitial pneumonia during hospitalization.

The mean length of hospital stay was 13.5 days; and 15% and 5% of patients received noninvasive and invasive ventilation, respectively.

At the time of evaluation, only 12.6% of patients were completely free of any COVID-19-related symptom; 32% and 55% had one or two and three or more symptoms, respectively.

No patients had fever or symptoms of acute illness.

Among 44.1% of patients, worsened quality of life was observed. Overall, 53.1%, 43.4%, 27.3%, and 21.7% of patients reported fatigue, dyspnea, joint pain, and chest pain, respectively.

The team says clinicians and researchers have focused on the acute phase of COVID-19, but continued monitoring after discharge for long-lasting effects is needed.

One author of the study is Angelo Carfi, M.D.

The study is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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