Symptoms of long Covid persist for weeks after discharge

Symptoms of long Covid persist for weeks after discharge

Tiredness, breathlessness, depression. These are just some of the newly identified symptoms in most coronavirus positive patients 7 weeks after their discharge from the hospital

(photo: LaylaBird / Getty Images) Most of the patients hospitalized due to the coronavirus continue to manifest debilitating symptoms of the infection even after discharge. This is suggested by a new study by researchers from University College London, in collaboration with doctors from the Royal Free London and the University College London Hospitals NHS Trust, according to which more than two thirds of hospitalized patients continue to suffer from the symptoms of Covid-19. , both physiological and psychological, even for seven weeks after being discharged.

Their research, just published in the journal Thorax, is further confirmation of the growing body of evidence that Covid-19 can have long-lasting effects term and, therefore, that the so-called long Covid is a real and rather widespread phenomenon. For example, as we told you, the British government agency National Institute for Health Research, recently released a report in which three possible syndromes associated with long Covid are identified, including that from intensive care, from chronic damage to organs such as lungs, heart and brain and, finally, post-viral fatigue.

To examine the psychological and physiological symptoms of discharged patients, the researchers carried out a follow-up study involving a total of 384 coronavirus positive people admitted to three different hospitals for an average duration of 6.5 days. All patients were monitored, called or seen in person, for about 54 days after (just over 7 weeks) leaving the hospital. From the analyzes, the researchers observed that after 7 weeks of discharge, 69% of patients still suffered from fatigue, 53% of breathlessness, 34% still had a cough and 15% reported depressive symptoms. And again: 38% of chest radiographs (X-rays) were not normalized, but still showed abnormalities, with 9% reporting worsening from the day of discharge.

Data, researchers explain, which confirm that long Covid is a real phenomenon and that therefore highlight the need for further research to understand how the symptoms of the coronavirus can be treated in the long term. “Patients whose illness is severe enough to require hospital care often continue to suffer from symptoms for many weeks after discharge,” notes co-author Swapna Mandal. Although this latest study has limitations, such as the fact that ICU patients may have been underestimated, "a better understanding of long Covid will be key to supporting and helping people who have experienced this experience to return to good health", adds co-author John Hurst.

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