A Third of COVID Survivors Have Long-Haul Symptoms

Almost 31% of patients reported having a poorer health-related quality of life now, compared to before receiving COVID-19, the researchers reported.

It is not yet clear why COVID-19 is causing these lasting effects.

Many viruses are able to create what is called “post-viral syndrome,” which experts describe as health problems that persist long after the infection has cleared the body. These are the result of inflammation or other damage that occurs when the immune system fights an infection.

But there is evidence that at least some long-term COVID-19 symptoms could be directly attributable to the coronavirus itself, Gut said.

“Because it has a direct effect on the nerves in our nose, we think there is probably an effect on the structure of the brain. We know that definitely there are changes in our lungs as a result,” said Gut said of COVID-19. “It has far-reaching implications that we are only just beginning to understand as we are just beginning to categorize the syndrome.”

The results were published online on February 19 in JAMA network open.

More information

The Cleveland Clinic has more on long-haul coronaviruses.

SOURCES: Jennifer Logue, BS, research scientist, Division of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle; Kristin Englund, MD, infectious disease specialist, Cleveland Clinic, Ohio; David Hirschwerk, MD, infectious disease physician, Northwell Health, Manhasset, NY; Thomas Gut, DO, associate president, medicine, and director, ambulatory care services, Staten Island Teaching Hospital, New York; Ravindra Ganesh, MBBS, MD, internist, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn .; JAMA network open, February 19, 2021, online

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