Nearly 90% of people living with long COVID have not returned to full health

Credit: Unsplash+

In a study from University College Cork and elsewhere, scientists found that nearly 90% of those living with long COVID have not returned to their pre-COVID level of health.

The study provides greater insight into the impact of long COVID on the quality of life, mental health and physical health of people in Ireland.

More than 2 out of 3 participants continue to experience fatigue, post-exertional malaise, palpitations, chest pain, stomach upset/nausea, memory problems, muscle pain or joint pain.

The average number of long COVID symptoms reported was 8 for each person, highlighting the substantial burden of this disease. The average reported time since the initial COVID-19 infection was 12 months.

The team found a high proportion of long COVID patients reported that they still have moderate to the severe limitations in their ability to carry out their usual daily activities.

Nearly 4 of 10 people were severely limited in their ability to work and 6 of every 10 have missed workdays (at some stage) due to their long COVID symptoms.

16% of respondents were unable to work at the time of the survey due to long COVID and were receiving social welfare supports.

This survey highlights that SARS-CoV-2 infection not only impacts the lungs but can have significant long-term effects on multiple organs following clearance of the acute SARS-CoV-2 infection.

The reasons why some people develop long COVID, and others do not, are still unclear.

While many different biological mechanisms have been proposed, the researchers are focusing on the role of the immune system and the microbiome in these complicated disease processes.

“The majority of people surveyed had a mild-moderate severity of initial COVID-19 disease and the majority did not require hospital treatment at that time.

A wide range of body systems is impacted by long COVID, as shown by systemic, respiratory, heart, gut, neuropsychiatric or musculoskeletal symptoms.

Fatigue is the single most frequent symptom reported.

The study demonstrates the significant and wide-ranging impacts long COVID is having not only on physical health, but also on ability to carry out usual daily activities, return to employment and overall quality of life.

If you care about COVID, please read studies about how vitamin B may help fight COVID-19, and mouthwashes may suppress COVID-19 virus.

For more information about COVID, please see recent studies that CBD from cannabis may inhibit COVID-19, and results showing new therapy from bananas may help treat COVID-19.

The study was conducted by Professor Liam O’Mahony et al and published in HRB Open Research.

Copyright © 2022 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.