One in 10 people who had mild COVID-19 are STILL left with lingering symptoms EIGHT months later


One in ten people who had mild COVID-19 STILL have lingering symptoms like fatigue and loss of smell EIGHT months later

  • Researchers compared about 300 healthcare workers who had been infected with COVID-19 to about 1,000 who hadn’t been
  • A total of 26% of survivors had at least one symptom that lasted more than two months and 14.9% said they had symptoms that persisted after eight months
  • In the COVID-19 group, 11% said their symptoms affected their work, social or home life compared to 2% in the control group
  • Only between 1% and 2% of coronavirus survivors said they were experiencing concentration impairment or memory impairment. 

People who had mild cases of COVID-19 are still experiencing symptoms eight months later, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that one in 10 healthcare workers reported fatigue or a loss of taste and smell more than 30 weeks after clearing the infection.

What’s more, these moderate-to-severe symptoms were having a negative impact on their work, social or home life.

The team, from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, says that the findings provide further evidence for the importance of vaccination.

In the COVID-19, group 11% said their symptoms affected their work, social or home life compared to 2% in the control group

In the COVID-19, group 11% said their symptoms affected their work, social or home life compared to 2% in the control group

For the study, published in JAMA, the team collected data from the COMMUNITY study being conducted in Sweden, which looks at immunity after coronavirus.

In the first wave, blood samples were collected from 2,149 employees at Danderyd Hospital, in Stockholm, between April 15 and May 8 of last year.

Every four months, blood samples were drawn and participants answered questions about long-term symptoms and their impact on quality of life. 

In a third-follow up, in January 2021, the team looked at 323 healthcare workers who had had mild COVID-19 at least eight months earlier and compared them with 1,072 employees who had not has the disease up to that point. 

Results showed 26 percent of those who had tested positive in the past had at least one symptom that lasted more than two months compared to nine percent in the control group.

A total of 21.4 percent said their symptoms were still lingering after four months and 14.9 percent said the symptoms persisted after eight months. 

The most common long-term symptom was loss of smell, experienced by 14.6 percent at least two months later and by nine percent eight months later.

Rounding out the top three long-lasting symptoms were fatigue and loss of taste, respectively. 

Eleven percent of the COVID-19 group said their symptoms affected their work, social or home life compared to two percent in the control group.

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‘We investigated the presence of long-term symptoms after mild COVID-19 in a relatively young and healthy group of working individuals, and we found that the predominant long-term symptoms are loss of smell and taste,’ lead researcher for the COMMUNITY study Dr Charlotte Thålin, specialist physician at Danderyd Hospital and Karolinska Institutet, said in a statement.

‘Fatigue and respiratory problems are also more common among participants who have had COVID-19 but do not occur to the same extent.

Thålin noted that only between one and two percent of COVID-19 survivors said they were experiencing concentration impairment or memory impairment.

‘However, we do not see an increased prevalence of cognitive symptoms such as brain fatigue, memory and concentration problems or physical disorders such as muscle and joint pain, heart palpitations or long-term fever,’ she said.



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