Coronavirus patients with milder symptoms ‘can take longer to recover’, say lung specialists

Coughs and sneezes spread diseases Photo:

Some coronavirus patients have not been admitted to hospital apparently recover less quickly, according to a survey of lung specialists in the Netherlands.

The union for Dutch lung and tuberculosis specialists NVALT surveyed 100 doctors and found that many reported seeing patients with continuing problems after a mild coronavirus infection.

‘We are surprised by the large numbers of ex-Covid 19 patients coming to us with problems now,’ Leon van den Toorn, NVALT chairman told NOS. ‘We see that most of the patients complain of persistent laboured breathing and problems with exerting themselves, although the abnormalities on their lung scans are quite minor. It is possible that the immune system is less tanked up, so fewer antibodies are released and the recovery is slower.’

However he added that major lung damage is rarely visible in these patients, but still recommended long-term monitoring.

Earlier this year, medical experts reported that even people with mild coronavirus symptoms could be sick for months and the Dutch healthcare institute Zorginstituut Nederland this week advised the government that basic health insurance should be extended to cover this recovery period.

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