Covid symptoms stay even after 6 months

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The research was conducted among 1,733 out of 2,469 patients who were discharged from January to May from Jinyintan Hospital, one of the earliest designated hospitals for critical COVID-19 patients in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province.

"At 6 months after acute infection, Covid-19 survivors were mainly troubled with fatigue or muscle weakness, sleep difficulties, and anxiety or depression".

"Associations between gut microbiota composition, levels of cytokines, and inflammatory markers in patients with COVID-19 suggest that the gut microbiome is involved in the magnitude of COVID-19 severity possibly via modulating host immune responses", the study's authors wrote.

In the new study featured in the British Medical Journal's publication Gut, a team of scientists at the Chinese University of Hong Kong suggest that the gastrointestinal tract may play a bigger role in our recovery from COVID-19 more so than we initially thought.

"Because COVID-19 is such a new disease, we are only beginning to understand some of its long-term effects on patients' health".

Anxiety and depression were reported among 23 per cent of the patients. Longer follow-up studies on larger populations are required to understand the full spectrum of effects that COVID-19 can have on people, says, scientists. The former patients also underwent physical examinations and a 6-minute walking test and received blood tests.

Only 29 percent of patients who only needed oxygen therapy and 22 percent of those who did not need any extra oxygen while in the hospital developed diffusion impairment.

While similar studies done in the United States and the United Kingdom also painted a puzzling picture for COVID-19 "long-haulers", authors of the Chinese study stressed that only 2 percent of their sampled patients said they had difficulties doing daily activities due to ongoing symptoms, meaning most of the discharged patients appeared able to resume their normal lives.

The results reveal COVID patients with more severe cases of infection are increasingly likely to suffer long-term damage than those with a mild case. Patients who were severely ill had reduced lung function, with 56 per cent of them requiring ventilation support. Fatigue or muscle weakness was reported by 63 per cent, while 26 per cent had sleep problems.

Blood tests on 94 Wuhan participants also uncovered the amount of neutralizing antibodies in the body drops significantly in the months after a patient's peak level of infection.

In a comment article also published in the Lancet, Monica Cortinovis, Norberto Perico, and Giuseppe Remuzzi, from Italy's Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri IRCCS, said there was uncertainty over the long-term health consequences of the pandemic. The medium time of the patients' recovery since they had shown infections is roughly six months.

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