Most COVID-19 Patients Have at Least 1 Symptom 6 Months Later

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More than three quarters of coronavirus patients have at least one ongoing symptom six months after initially becoming unwell, a landmark study has found.

The study from China involved more than 1,700 patients first diagnosed with the virus in Wuhan between January and May, and then followed to June and September.

In a Lancet commentary on the Chinese study, foreign scientists said it is rather surprising to find that some COVID-19 patients with good kidney health experienced lower than standard kidney function measured by the rate at which their kidneys are cleaning their blood, a key indicator of renal health.

The researchers found that 76% of the patients in the study reported experiencing at least one Covid-19 symptom six months after being infected with the virus, the study states.

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

However, due to the way the data was analysed, the researchers said it was not possible to determine if symptoms reported during follow-up were persistent following the infection, worsened after recovery, or occurred post-discharge. Moreover, 45% of respondent said they had to reduce their workload as a result of their disabling symptoms while 22.3% said they could not work at all.

"At six months after acute infection, COVID-19 survivors were mainly troubled with fatigue or muscle weakness, sleep difficulties, and anxiety or depression", the report said.

Home News Irish News Irish woman who contracted COVID last October rushed to hospital after developing blood clots By Aoibhin Bryant- 11/01/2021
Home News Irish News Irish woman who contracted COVID last October rushed to hospital after developing blood clots By Aoibhin Bryant- 11/01/2021

Aside from lingering symptoms, study authors discovered patients who had suffered from more severe COVID infections are more likely to now have impaired lung function.

The study followed patients discharged from Jin Yin-tan Hospital in Wuhan, where the virus emerged, and their median age was 57.

In a commentary published with the study, Giuseppe Remuzzi and colleagues with the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, Bergamo, Italy, noted that since just 4% of the study cohort required ICU treatment during hospitalization, the study by Huang et al. provides little information about long-term symptoms in this sicker patient population.

About 63 percent of the respondents reported experiencing fatigue or muscle weakness, while 26 percent said they encountered sleep problems.

The study was conducted at the Jin Yin-tan Hospital which was the first designated medical facility in Wuhan, China for Covid-19 patients, according to the researchers.

Scientists say we need to conduct even longer follow-up studies involving more patients to "understand the full spectrum of health consequences" of Covid-19. Based on lab tests, about 13% of patients who'd had normal kidney function while they'd been hospitalized showed reduced kidney function after they'd recovered from COVID-19, the researchers said.

Blood antibody tests of 94 formerly severely ill patients revealed that the levels of neutralizing antibodies were 52.5 percent lower after discharge than at the height of their infection.

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