Half Coronavirus patients report long-term health issues

Covid-19 vaccine Credit: Towfiqu barbhuiya/ Pexels

According to the Dutch Public Health Institute RIVM almost half of all Coronavirus patients report long-term health issues more than three months after infection.

The preliminary report into the impact of long-term Covid-19 issued on June 21 says that roughly half of those infected with the alpha and delta variants of the virus continue to report problems that include fatigue, loss of smell and difficulty concentrating.

The results have been derived from a questionnaire involving over 14,500 people, of whom nearly 9,200 applied to take part in the study between May and December last year. A further 5,400 people who had not had coronavirus took part as a control group.

The good news is that the under 65s who had recovered from coronavirus and who had been fully vaccinated were less likely to report problems with smell and taste but there was no difference between people who were not, were partially or fully vaccinated at the time of the infection.

The findings show that people who had coronavirus were ‘significantly’ more likely to report problems such as fatigue and shortness of breath than the control group. In 28 per cent of cases, the fatigue was so severe people could not function normally.

RVIM said: “The effectiveness of the various coronavirus vaccines against hospital and ICU admission has been demonstrated worldwide but whether and to what extent vaccination also protects against long-term complaints is less clear.”

Other international studies into the effectiveness of vaccination against long-term complaints show varying results and further research is said to be needed to be able to make substantiated statements.

Because the common complaints of fatigue and shortness of breath were also widely reported by people who had not had coronavirus or who had other respiratory problems, there is difficulty in understanding which was the cause.

The next update in the study will include those who suffered from the Omicron variant, with the expectation that the results will be substantially different.

Whilst the understanding of the long-term health issues and symptoms that Coronavirus patients report, more work is needed to understand what can be done to help sufferers.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]