A study has revealed that fatigue and shortness of breath still afflict many patients a year after their hospitalization for Covid-19.
According to a new Chinese study calling for a better understanding of the pandemic’s long-term health effects, fatigue, shortness of breath persist in Covid patients for a year. It further revealed that around half of the patients discharged from hospital for Covid still suffer from at least one tenacious symptom, most often fatigue or muscle weakness after 12 months.
The study was published in British medical journal The Lancet on Friday according to which one in three patients still have shortness of breath a year after their diagnosis. That number is even higher in patients hit more severely by the illness.
“With no proven treatments or even rehabilitation guidance, long Covid affects people’s ability to resume normal life and their capacity to work,” The Lancet said in an editorial published with the study.
“The study shows that for many patients, full recovery from Covid-19 will take more than 1 year.”
The study followed nearly 1,300 people hospitalized for Covid between January and May 2020 in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the first place affected by a pandemic that has since infected 214 million people worldwide, killing more than 4 million.
It showed that at least one symptom decreased from 68 percent after 6 months to 49 percent after 12 months. Respiratory discomfort increased from 26 percent of patients after 6 months to 30 percent after 12 months.
It found affected women were 43 percent more likely than affected men to suffer from fatigue or persistent muscle weakness, and twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety or depression.
However, the results of the study have warned authorities in different countries they must be prepared to provide long-term support to health workers and patients affected by Covid.