Another study reports prolonged symptoms among COVID-19 survivors
Approximately 30% of patients with COVID-19 enrolled in a study at the University of Washington reported persistent symptoms 3 to 9 months after illness onset, according to results published in JAMA Network Open.
Other studies have also reported prolonged symptoms among COVID-19 survivors, even among young adults. In Wuhan, China, where the pandemic originated, 76% of patients said they were still experiencing symptoms 6 months after infection.
“Our research indicates that the health consequences of COVID-19 extend far beyond acute infection, even among those who experience mild illness,” Jennifer K. Logue, BS, a research scientist at University of Washington Lab Medicine, and colleagues wrote in the new study. “Comprehensive long-term investigation will be necessary to fully understand the impact of this evolving viral pathogen.”
Logue and colleagues enrolled a cohort of 234 adults with COVID-19 and collected symptom data at the time of illness or retrospectively recounted symptom data during a 30-day enrollment visit. A total of 177 participants responded to a follow-up questionnaire regarding persistent symptoms 3 to 9 months after their illness onset.
Among them, 31% (55 of 177) reported symptoms 3 to 9 months after illness onset. A total of 32.7% (49 of 150) of outpatients, 31.3% (five of 16) of hospitalized patients and 4.8% (one of 21) of healthy participants from a control group experienced one or more persistent symptoms.
Hypertension was the most common (13%) comorbidity among patients. The most common persistent symptoms included fatigue (13.6%) and loss of smell or taste (13.6%), consistent with past findings.
The researchers noted several limitations, including the small sample size, a single study location, potential bias due to self-reporting and a loss of follow-up for 57 participants.
“To our knowledge, this study presents the longest follow-up symptom assessment after COVID-19 infection,” the authors wrote.