Individuals who had recovered from COVID-19 exhibited persistent symptoms including fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain and joint pain. Only 12% of patients were completely symptom-free.
Carfì A. Persistent Symptoms in Patients After Acute COVID-19. JAMA (2020). DOI: 10.1001/jama.2020.12603
9 July 2020
One of the many questions regarding the trajectory of COVID-19 is how it may continue to affect patients during the recovery phase (i.e. once they have tested negative for COVID-19, after recovering from their infection). This study conducted in Italy examined the presence of persistent symptoms in patients who were hospitalized with, and subsequently recovered from, COVID-19. 143 patients were included in the study, and of these patients 28 received either invasive or non-invasive ventilation. Patients were assessed on average 60 days after onset of their first COVID-19 symptom; 12.6% were symptom-free, 32% had one or two symptoms, and 55% had three or more symptoms. The most frequently reported symptoms were fatigue, shortness of breath, and joint pain. Notably, 44% of patients reported a worsened quality of life. These results show that “recovery” may still involve a continuation of symptoms in patients who suffered from COVID-19, and that these symptoms may result in a reduced quality of life even beyond the period of acute illness.
Summary by: Jennifer Gutberg