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New study: 30% of people experience COVID-19 symptoms 9 months after diagnosis

A new small study suggests one-third of people suffer COVID-19 symptoms nine months after even mild cases

In this Jan. 11, 2021 fie photo drivers wait in line to get the COVID-19 vaccine in the parking lot of the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Arizona officials, who have pressed for more COVID-19 vaccines, got a chance to show the White House how quickly they could put them to use.
In this Jan. 11, 2021, file photo drivers wait in line to get the COVID-19 vaccine in the parking lot of the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Arizona officials, who have pressed for more COVID-19 vaccines, got a chance to show the White House how quickly they could put them to use.
Terry Tang, Associated Press

About one-third of COVID-19 survivors suffered from COVID-19 symptoms nine months after infection, according to a new small study.

What’s going on?

A new study — done by researchers at the University of Washington — followed 177 patients from the Seattle area who had COVID-19 infections.

  • The researchers reviewed the 177 patients’ health records for three to nine months after infections.
  • Most participants — 150 people, which is 85% of the study group — said they had mild COVID-19 infections and didn’t go to the hospital. Meanwhile, 11 participants (so about 6%) said they were asymptomatic. And 16 participants (about 9%) had such severe cases that they had to go to the hospital.

About one-third of the participants said they had COVID-19 symptoms after infections, saying they had a worse quality of life as well, according to LiveScience.

  • “What’s clear is that you can do well initially, but then over time develop symptoms that are quite crippling in terms of fatigue,” said study senior author Dr. Helen Chu, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

However ...

The study was limited because of the small number of participants from one location, according to LiveScience.

Context

But don’t let the small numbers fool you. Plenty of COVID-19 patients have said over the last few months that they have suffered from symptoms for weeks if not months after their original diagnosis.

  • These patients are called “long-haulers.” They often suffer from long-haul symptoms, including exhaustion, shortness of breath, headaches, fast heart beats, changes in taste and smell and brain fog, among other symptoms.