Nearly a quarter of all coronavirus patients show long-term symptoms at least a month after being diagnosed, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that at least 23% of people in the United States sought medical treatment for new conditions they did not have before contacting the virus.
In addition, about a fifth of these patients were asymptomatic when tested for COVID-19, but now suffered from pain, difficulty breathing or fatigue.
The team, from the nonprofit FAIR Health, say the results show that so-called ‘long-distance COVID’ can occur not only in people in hospital, but also in people with illnesses. benign.
“Even as the COVID-19 pandemic eases, long-term Covid persists as a public health problem affecting many Americans,” Robin Gelburd, president of FAIR Health, told AFP.
“The results of our new study shed light on this emerging problem for all people with long-distance COVID, as well as for policymakers, providers, payers and researchers. ”
Researchers examined two million people diagnosed with COVID-19 between February and December 2020 and found that 23.2% sought medical attention for at least one new symptom 30 days after diagnosis. Pictured: Chaplain Kevin Deegan prays with COVID-19 patient Esperanza Salazar at Holy Cross Medical Center in Los Angeles, February 2021
Almost 19% of asymptomatic patients developed “long-distance Covid”, as did 27.5% of patients who presented symptoms during their illness
Pain was the most frequently reported post-viral condition, followed by difficulty in breathing, high cholesterol, general discomfort and fatigue.
Long-distance Covid occurs in patients who have recovered from the virus and continue to show symptoms for weeks, or even months or years, after clearing the infection.
Many symptoms can appear, including continued loss of taste and smell, long-term fatigue, and long-term sensory problems.
The causes of the disease remain unknown and several studies are underway to examine the long-term effects.
“Theories include persistent immune activation after the acute phase; initial damage from the virus, such as damage to nerve pathways, which is slow to heal; and the persistent presence of low-intensity viruses, ”the authors wrote.
For the report, released Tuesday, the team looked at the private health insurance claims of nearly two million people diagnosed with COVID-19 between February 2020 and December 2020.
Chances of dying 30 days or more after being initially diagnosed with COVID-19 were 46 times higher for inpatients than those who were not hospitalized
The researchers then followed the patients to see if they developed any new symptoms until February 2021.
They found that 23.2 percent of patients – more than 450,000 – sought medical attention for at least one new symptom 30 days after diagnosis.
The most common post-viral condition was pain, such as nerve inflammation and muscle pain, reported in over 100,000 patients, or about five percent of the group.
The other most common conditions, in order of prevalence, were breathing difficulties, high cholesterol (hyperlipidaemia), general discomfort and fatigue, and high blood pressure.
Breathing difficulties were experienced by 3.5% of patients, while high cholesterol and fatigue were experienced by about 3% each.
Of the four mental health issues assessed as post-Covid issues, anxiety had the highest percentage across all age groups.
A surprising 18.9% of COVID-19 patients who were asymptomatic during their illness exhibited “long-distance Covid” symptoms 30 days after their initial diagnosis.
This figure rose to 27.5% of patients who were symptomatic while sick but not hospitalized.
About 50 percent of people hospitalized developed new symptoms after discharge.
Researchers found that the chances of dying 30 days or more after being initially diagnosed with COVID-19 were 46 times higher for inpatients and discharged than for those who had not been hospitalized.
Overall, 0.5 percent of hospitalized and discharged patients died 30 days or more after their initial diagnosis, compared with less than 0.05 for patients treated at home.
The team says that for future research they hope to include a control group of people who have never contracted COVID-19, which would help determine to what extent the virus caused the conditions instead of being a coincidence. .
Covid survivors say they experience ‘bizarre’ tastes and smells after clearing infection
By Betsy Ladyzhets For DailyMail.com
After recovering from COVID-19, several survivors say they experience distorted and out of place smells and tastes.
Patient experiences during the pandemic have spurred a new study into how viruses and other conditions can impact this little-studied sense.
While scientists have a hypothesis on how COVID damages odors, more research is needed on the virus’s long-term impacts and possible odor treatments.
One patient told the New York Times that the coffee tasted like gasoline and described the onions, garlic and meat as “putrid”.
Marcel Kuttab, a patient interviewed by the New York Times, described bizarre smells after she recovered from COVID-19, like coffee smelling of gasoline
One of those patients, Brooke Viegut, told The Times that she lost her sense of smell after contracting COVID in the spring of 2020.
“Before she completely covered her, the parosmia set in and she couldn’t tolerate garlic, onions or meat,” reports The Times.
“Even the broccoli,” she said at one point earlier this year, “smelled chemical. “
Marcel Kuttab, another patient, described the coffee as smelling “gasoline”.
She shopped at the grocery store for foods that she might find tolerable with her confused senses.
A third patient, Janet Marple, said the coffee, peanut butter and feces all “smell faintly of burnt rubber.”