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These COVID Symptoms Don't Go Away, Study Finds

Many people aren’t recovering from coronavirus, finds new study.
woman with mask in hospital

One of the most puzzling things about COVID-19 is the way that the virus impacts people differently. For example, when infected, some people remain asymptomatic and others end up on their deathbed hooked up to a ventilator. And of those who survive the virus, some people recover completely while others remain sick for months on end, with some never fully recovering. Researchers have continued to study the prolonged impact the virus is having on people, and one new study sheds some major light on just how many people who are hospitalized with the virus fully recover. Read on for the key takeaways, and don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.   

What are the Prolonged Symptoms?

Scientists from Britain's Oxford University recently published non peer-reviewed findings on MedRxiv website that over half of COVID-19 patients who were discharged from the hospital were still experiencing symptoms two to three months after being infected. Prolonged symptoms included breathlessness, fatigue, anxiety and depression. It also found that some of the patients suffered damage to multiple organs as a result of the virus, resulting in abnormalities and inflammation for months on end. 

"A significant proportion of COVID-19 patients discharged from hospital experience ongoing symptoms of breathlessness, fatigue, anxiety, depression and exercise limitation at 2-3 months from disease-onset," the study reads. "Persistent lung and extra-pulmonary organ MRI findings are common. In COVID-19 survivors, chronic inflammation may underlie multiorgan abnormalities and contribute to impaired quality of life."

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Many Patients Experienced Breathlessness and Fatigue

The small study, which involved 58 patients, broke down the long hauler symptoms by the percentage of those who were still suffering after two to three months. It determined that 64% of patients suffered persistent breathlessness, 55% reported significant fatigue, and 60% of the COVID-19 patients had abnormalities in the lungs, 29% in the kidneys, 26% in the hearts, and 10% in the livers.

"These findings underscore the need to further explore the physiological processes associated with COVID-19 and to develop a holistic, integrated model of clinical care for our patients after they have been discharged from hospital," said Betty Raman, a doctor at Oxford's Radcliffe Department of Medicine who co-led the research.

"The abnormalities detected … strongly correlated with serum markers of inflammation," Raman said. "This suggests a potential link between chronic inflammation and ongoing organ damage among survivors." If you experienced any of these symptoms, contact a medical professional immediately—and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.