New Delhi (Agency): A recent study in the US has shed light on the enduring impact of Covid-19, suggesting that long-term symptoms might either continue for a year following the acute phase or surface several months post-infection.
This research, which was recently shared in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, offers the most in-depth insight so far regarding the prolonged course of symptoms over a year. It delves deeper into the effects of Covid-19 after the initial illness has passed, showcasing how extensive its impact has been on the health care system.
One of the standout findings from this study is that around “16 per cent of the Covid-positive people” had symptoms that lingered for over a year. However, others only exhibited symptoms briefly. The study was a collaborative effort between the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They conducted periodic checks every three months, which enabled them to distinguish between symptoms that improved over time and those that appeared months post the initial infection.
Juan Carlos Montoy, the leading author of this study and an associate professor at UCSF, highlighted, “It was common for symptoms to resolve then re-emerge months later.” Montoy emphasized the uniqueness of their approach by stating that their research differs from previous studies as it tracked symptoms at multiple intervals. He added, “It suggests that measurements at a single point in time could underestimate or mischaracterise the true burden of disease.”
The condition known as “Long Covid” involves symptoms that either linger or develop about a month after the initial infection. These can significantly hamper the quality of life. To gather their findings, the researchers worked with 1,741 participants. Among them, two-thirds were female. All participants underwent Covid testing across eight primary health care systems in the US.
It was observed that 75% of the participants tested positive for Covid. Interestingly, even those who tested negative exhibited symptoms like fatigue, headache, shortness of breath, chest pain, and cognitive issues, suggesting they might have had some form of infection. Initially, those with a positive Covid result showed more pronounced symptoms. However, by the year’s end, there was no discernible difference in the symptom patterns between the Covid positive and negative groups.
Montoy found this quite surprising. He shared, “It shows that the burden after Covid may be high, but it might also be high for other non-Covid illnesses.” He believes there’s much to uncover about the aftermath of illnesses, whether Covid-related or not.