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75% of Wuhan patients hospitalized for COVID-19 still had symptoms 6 months later, Chinese study finds

Wuhan - Coronavirus

Three-quarters of Wuhan patients hospitalized for Covid-19 still had symptoms 6 months later, Chinese study finds

About 75% of the patients suffered at least one symptom months after they were discharged from the hospital, with fatigue and sleep difficulties being among the most common symptoms.

A new study regarding the chronic effects of COVID-19 shows that people who recovered from COVID-19 could still experience a variety of symptoms up to six months after they first contracted the virus. The study showed that apart from the usual symptoms like fatigue, cough, and shortness of breath, other psychological symptoms like anxiety and depression were also experienced by the patients.

The study, which was recently published in the medical journal The Lancet, is considered to be the largest of its kind, with the longest follow-up duration, to investigate the long-term impact on discharged patients, the authors said.

The research was carried out by studying more than 1,700 patients treated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, according to CNN. The participants of the study, with an average age of 57 years, were discharged between January 7 and May 29, 2020, from Wuhan’s Jinyatan Hospital.

The findings of the research indicate that fatigue and sleep difficulties were the most common post-COVID-19 symptoms with 63% and 26% of the patients respectively, while psychological symptoms like anxiety or depression were found in 23% of the patients. The researchers also noted that patients who were more severely ill tended to have continued evidence of lung damage on X-rays, as per CNN report.

“Our analysis indicates that most patients continue to live with at least some of the effects of the virus after leaving the hospital, and highlights a need for post-discharge care, particularly for those who experience severe infections,” stated Dr. Bin Cao of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital and Capital Medical University, who is the lead author of the study. “Our work also underscores the importance of conducting longer follow-up studies in larger populations in order to understand the full spectrum of effects that COVID-19 can have on people.”

Although the outcome of the study emphasizes some of the long-lasting effects of COVID-19, findings on fatigue, sleep difficulties, and anxiety or depression matches with earlier researches involving patients who had relative coronavirus that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003 and 2004, and a follow-up study regarding SARS survivors showed 40% of patients had chronic fatigue symptoms more than three years after the infection, the researchers said. The correspondence of chronic impacts caused by COVID-19 with that of SARS infection is under speculation by the researchers.

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ARTICLE: LIDIYA SHILU

SCIENCE/HEALTH EDITOR: KYLE SMITH

PHOTO CREDITS: NBC NEWS

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