Scientists from the China-Japan Friendship Hospital found that two years after infection with COVID-19, half of the patients who were admitted to hospitals still have at least one symptom.
The research is published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine and was conducted by Professor Bin Cao et al.
In the study, the team followed 1,192 participants in China infected with SARS-CoV-2 during the first phase of the pandemic in 2020.
Two years after initially falling ill, patients with COVID-19 are generally in poorer health than the general population, with 31% reporting fatigue or muscle weakness and 31% reporting sleep difficulties.
COVID-19 patients were also more likely to report a number of other symptoms including joint pain, palpitations, dizziness, and headaches.
COVID-19 patients also more often reported pain or discomfort and anxiety or depression than non-COVID-19 participants.
The long-term health impacts of COVID-19 have remained largely unknown, as the longest follow-up studies to date have spanned around one year.
The findings indicate that for a certain proportion of hospitalized COVID-19 survivors, while they may have cleared the initial infection, more than two years is needed to recover fully from COVID-19.
Ongoing follow-up of COVID-19 survivors, particularly those with symptoms of long COVID, is essential to understand the longer course of the illness, as is a further exploration of the benefits of rehabilitation programs for recovery.
There is a clear need to provide continued support to a significant proportion of people who’ve had COVID-19 and to understand how vaccines, emerging treatments, and variants affect long-term health outcomes.
If you care about COVID, please read studies that 40% of COVID-19 survivors have a new disability, and COVID-19 booster shots prompt stronger protection than original shots.
For more information about health, please see recent studies about what happens to our immune systems when we get a booster, and results showing green tea may protect your body as a vaccine.
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