Long-Haul COVID-19 May Affect Two of Three With Mild, Moderate Disease

Authors say these estimates are similar to estimates in hospitalized patients

FRIDAY, Aug. 20, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The majority of individuals who experience mild or moderate COVID-19 infection have persistent symptoms more than 30 days after diagnosis, according to a study published online Aug. 4 in PLOS ONE.

Melanie L. Bell, Ph.D., from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and colleagues estimated the prevalence of postacute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC) — defined as experiencing at least one symptom ≥30 days — and the prevalence of individual symptoms among 303 nonhospitalized individuals with a positive lab-confirmed COVID-19 test and mild or moderate disease with follow-up for a median 61 days.

The researchers found that the prevalence of PASC at 30 days postinfection was 68.7 percent. The median number of symptoms was three, with the most commonly reported symptoms including fatigue (37.5 percent), shortness of breath (37.5 percent), brain fog (30.8 percent), and stress/anxiety (30.8 percent). Among a subset of 157 participants with follow-up ≥60 days, PASC prevalence was 77.1 percent.

“This is a real wake-up call for anyone who has not been vaccinated,” Bell said in a statement. “If you get COVID, the chances that you’ll experience long-term symptoms are surprisingly high.”

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