According to a new study, doctors are diagnosing nearly 40 percent of COVID patients with at least one persistent symptom for up to six months after their initial infection.
The most common symptoms, including abnormal breathing, abdominal discomfort, fatigue, pain and anxiety or depression, are also prevalent among people infected with the flu – but COVID patients are at higher risk of developing these conditions, the researchers said.
Academics from the University of Oxford and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) examined how many patients experienced long-lasting symptoms after getting COVID-19 and what role was played by factors such as age and gender. Scientists also set out to see if they could draw any comparisons to the flu.
The study, which analyzed the health records of more than 273,000 people who had covid-19 and 114,000 who had the flu in the US, found nine long covid symptoms and the number of people suffering between 90 and 180 days after initial infection. Outlined the ratio. Patients’ symptoms were diagnosed by doctors, not self-reported.
Looking at COVID-19, the researchers found that different groups were affected by long-lasting symptoms in different ways.
For example, older people and men had more breathing difficulties and cognitive problems, while younger people and women had more headaches, abdominal symptoms, and anxiety or depression.
Patients who were hospitalized were more likely to suffer from cognitive problems such as brain fog and fatigue than those who did not require hospitalization, and those who did not require hospitalization were more likely to be admitted. were more likely to have a headache.
Taking all factors into account, the research team estimated that 37 percent of people who had a COVID-19 infection had at least one prolonged COVID symptom three to six months after infection.
The team also estimated that symptoms associated with prolonged COVID-19 were about 50 percent more common in people who had a COVID-19 infection than in those who had the flu.
“We found in a group of patients with influenza that the same symptoms also occur, but they occur at lower rates,” said NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow Dr. Max Taquet.
The authors stressed that there were “important caveats”, which meant that the results should not be generalized: one was that those in the study with both the flu and COVID may have been more unwell than the general population because they Seek medical help for your symptoms.
Dr Taquet said: “More than a third of patients were diagnosed with at least one of the prolonged Covid symptoms between three and six months after the Covid-19 illness.
“Severity of disease, age and gender influenced the incidence and profile of prolonged COVID symptoms.
“Similar symptoms were seen in people after influenza, but they do occur and are less common.”
Dr. Elaine Maxwell, a scientific advisor to the NIHR who was not involved in the study, said the research “involved only people who tested positive, so there were probably many people who stayed home and didn’t get tested.” Gaya” for covid or flu.
“All these large retrospective record-based studies show associations rather than causation, and it is a mistake to assume that they can be used prospectively to identify patients without studies to test these associations.” could,” she said.
“The best we can say is that a large number of people report a wide range of sequelae. These people need individualized evaluation and care.”
Health officials have warned that this year’s flu season could be particularly troublesome because immunity to the influenza virus was reduced during the pandemic.
The government is hoping that more people than ever will get relief from the flu, with people over 50 and the medically vulnerable being called forward to get vaccinated.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /