80% of COVID-19 Patients May Have Lingering Symptoms

More studies are emerging that are revealing increasingly disturbing information about the long term consequences of even mild cases of COVID. A new meta-analysis found that 80% of patients diagnosed with COVID have lingering symptoms at least 14 days after the acute infection.

More than 50 different symptoms have been found to persist, most commonly fatigue (58%), headache (44%), attention disorder (27%), hair loss (25%), dyspnea (24%), and anosmia (loss of smell) (24%). The fatigue is commonly present even after 100 days after the first symptoms.

“We estimated that a total 80% of the patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 developed one or more long-term symptoms,” Villapol said. “Preventive measures, rehabilitation techniques, and clinical management strategies designed to address prevalent long-term effects of COVID-19 are urgently needed,” she told MedPage Today.

To date, there’s no established diagnosis for the slow, persistent condition that people with lasting effects of COVID-19 experience; terms like “long COVID,” “long haulers,” and “post-acute COVID-19” have been used, Villapol and colleagues noted. In their review, they referred to lingering symptoms and signs as “long-term effects of COVID-19.”

Persistent severe fatigue, headache, “brain fog,” and mild cognitive impairment are some of the most commonly presenting symptoms, and patients tend to present more than 4 weeks after illness…these symptoms can be independent of disease severity, and can be newly occurring or recurring symptoms….one in five patients not requiring supplemental oxygen during hospitalization reported decreased lung function after 6 months.


“The only pattern in so-called “long COVID” is there is no pattern, as it appears to affect even those who experienced more mild disease.”


Over one third had abnormal chest x-rays or CT scans. All this is worrisome for long term recovery.

We urge everyone to continue vigilance in protecting themselves from infection, eliminate discretionary exposure to anyone not in their household, including family, double mask if you must go out in public.