One-third of COVID-19 Patients Experience Long COVID
Most SARS-CoV-2 infected people get better a few weeks after they start showing symptoms. Nevertheless, a significant number of individuals still have symptoms of COVID-19 even 3–4 weeks after being infected with the virus. In one research about the impact of the COVID-19 symptoms, medical professionals refer to the post-acute SARS-CoV-2 infection symptoms as long COVID.
Although several studies have been examining the incidence rate of long COVID, some potential shortfalls need to be considered.
For example, one weak point of certain studies is that they used self-reported data gathered by conducting phone or app surveys. One of the major drawbacks to using the data is that the focus was on patients who agreed to participate. Other studies have utilized data gathered from COVID-19 hospitalized patients in the acute phase, thereby restricting the generalizability of the results. Furthermore, a large portion of these studies has failed to provide a comparison group.
To remedy the flaws, Oxford University researchers conducted a study that involved COVID-19 survivors. They aimed to evaluate the risks of long COVID symptoms that persist for six months after the first diagnosis. The study discovered that after a SARS-CoV-2 infection, more than one-third of the COVID-19 sufferers experienced long COVID symptoms for 3–6 months. In addition, females, older adults, and persons with severe symptoms through the acute phase were more likely to have long COVID symptoms.
The study also revealed that long COVID symptoms were more common in COVID-19 patients than in people who suffered from influenza. The researchers discovered that around 37% of the patients had at least one long COVID symptom following the SARS-CoV-2 infection. According to the study, some symptoms, like heavy breathing, were more frequent than others during the first three months. However, during the long phase, the patients were more likely to feel depressed or anxious.
Similar to earlier reports, patients with a severe disease during the acute phase of the infection had an increased risk of suffering from long COVID.
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