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Study Reveals That A Third of Symptomatic COVID-19 Patients Develop Persistent Symptoms

A recent study has revealed that a third of symptomatic patients with novel corona virus disease or COVID-19 appear to develop persistent symptoms. Meanwhile, a third of all patients with polymerase chain reaction or PCR-confirmed COVID-19 are asymptomatic, underscoring the heterogeneity of its appearance.

Photo: COVID-19 Patients Develop Persistent Symptoms| InStyleHealth

Experts performed a cohort study including 445 patients with PCR-confirmed COVID-19 but had no need for hospitalization. Experts used digital questionnaires to evaluate the demographics and symptoms. Persistent symptoms were described as those lasting >4 weeks.

From the total sample, 34% were considered to be completely asymptomatic, leaving 238 patients who had experienced symptoms, more than half of whom felt their first symptom within a few hours. Symptomatic patients, commonly, complained of fatigue, headache, and sneezing, as well as severe instances of reduced taste and smelling.

Most of the symptomatic patients said that their symptoms had disappeared within 2 weeks. There was a total of 198 symptomatic patients provided follow-up data exceeding 4 weeks; out of 198 patients, 36% had persistent symptoms reported.

Fatigue came out as the most common persistent symptom, as reported by 16% of the respondents. Followed by difficulties with concentration or memory at 13%, reduced sense of smell at 10%, and shortness of breath at 10%.

It appears that women seemed to be more likely to experience persistent symptoms, as were those who had high body mass index or BMI.

Researchers said that although data should be reproduced due to possible limitations of survival or recall bias, these findings should be taken into account in the future healthcare planning and policy making related to COVID-19 prevention, detection, treatment, and follow-up.


Source: Sci Rep 2021;11:13153

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