Once the “acute phase” of the pandemic has passed, the persistent covid continues to be the big problem facing a humanity that has been massively exposed to a new pathogen full of unknowns. The international consensus defines persistent covid as a set ofsymptoms that last at least 2 months and cannot be explained by an alternative diagnosis” to that of having suffered from the new coronavirus, including childhood.
Now a Dutch team has released a comprehensive revised compilation of the most reported persistent covid symptoms among those who suffered from the disease between March 2020 and April 2021. Over this period they have seen that up to 12.7 % of people who contracted the disease during this period had at least one compatible symptom. Coronavirus sequelae (such as pulmonary fibrosis) must be distinguished from persistent (less specific) covid. A quarter have one of two things.
Specifically, they suffered from persistent covid until Eight months then as: fatigue, chest or respiratory pain, muscle or skeletal pain, tingling, chills and loss of taste or smell. The so-called “brain fog” or headaches also appear. Of course, the majority report seeing their persistent covid symptoms stabilize after three months, even if a good part of them do not recover from it, even if they do not progress,
21% had a persistent COVID symptom that they did not have before
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Groningen (Netherlands), compares data from 4,231 participants who had already been diagnosed with covid and 8,462 uninfected participants. They analyzed twenty clinical manifestations and their intensity.
21.4% had at least one new or more intense symptom three to five months after testing positive for COVID, compared to how they felt before diagnosis. This did not happen as frequently in the control group: 8.7% of uninfected people had persistent covid-like symptoms. This suggests that one in eight covid patients continue to experience long-term symptoms.
“Data reporting the magnitude and extent of long-term symptoms experienced by some patients after COVID-19 illness are urgently needed,” said Judith Rosmalen (University of Groningen) and lead author of the study. “Most previous research on persistent COVID has not looked at the frequency of these symptoms in people who have not been diagnosed with COVID or looked at individual patient symptoms prior to diagnosis.”
In agreement with other studies
In Spain, the cyberpostcovid project (ISCIII) focuses on symptoms that do not resolve three months after infection. In Spain, the most frequent are usually systemic (very general), neurocognitive (such as brain fog), cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, psychological and psychiatric. In this case, an exhaustive count has not been carried out, as in the Netherlands, but tables and definitions are compiled.
The Dutch authors recognize the limitations of the study. He had only been infected with the original and alpha variants. On the other hand, there are so many asymptomatic people that the presence of covid in this study may be underestimated (there may also not be as many people with persistent covid, since people who were never correctly diagnosed were able to enter the control group).
On the other hand, most of the data was collected before the vaccination campaign. The sample of the cattle population was too small to be analyzed. There are conflicting studies on whether or not vaccination can alleviate symptoms of persistent covid.