New Delhi: Long-term symptoms of COVID-19 can persist for at least a year after the acute illness has passed, or appear months later, according to a study conducted in the US. The research, published recently in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, is the most comprehensive look yet at how symptoms play out over a year. It expands knowledge of post-COVID-19 conditions, describing trends in more detail than previous research and highlighting significant impacts the epidemic has had on health care system.
The study found that for about 16 per cent of the COVID-positive people, symptoms lasted for at least a year, but for others, they appeared for a short time.
The team from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and colleagues, assessed symptoms every three months, enabling them to differentiate between symptoms that improve and those that emerge months after the initial infection. Study lead author Juan Carlos Montoy, an associate professor at UCSF said,
It was common for symptoms to resolve then re-emerge months later. A lot of prior research has focused on symptoms at one or two points in time, but we were able to describe symptom trajectory with greater clarity and nuance. It suggests that measurements at a single point in time could underestimate or mischaracterises the true burden of disease.
Long COVID involves a range of symptoms that persist or develop about a month after initial infection. These symptoms are associated with significant morbidity or reduced quality of life.
The study involved 1,741 participants – two-thirds of them female – who sought COVID testing at eight major health care systems across the US.
Three-quarters tested positive for COVID, but those who tested negative may also have had an infection of some type, since they were experiencing symptoms. These included fatigue, runny nose, headache, sore throat, shortness of breath, chest pain, diarrhea, forgetfulness and difficulty thinking or concentrating.
COVID positive participants were more likely to have symptoms in each of the symptom categories at baseline, but by the end of the year, there was no difference between those who were COVID positive and negative. Mr. Montoy said,
We were surprised to see how similar the patterns were between the COVID positive and COVID negative groups.
The researcher added,
It shows that the burden after COVID may be high, but it might also be high for other non-COVID illnesses. We have a lot to learn about post-illness processes for COVID and other conditions.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fightmalnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health,adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.