Tuesday 27 July 2021

Most Long Covid sufferers only had mild symptoms during the acute phase

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Most of the people in the Netherlands suffering from Long Covid only had mild symptoms during the acute phase of the infection, according to early research by public health institute RIVM.

Just 5% of the 1,741 participants in RIVM’s Long Covid study had been hospitalised during the infection, the initial results show.

The symptoms reported most frequently among the participants were tiredness (90%), concentration problems (74%) and shortness of breath (70%). On average, they had been suffering from the symptoms for seven months at the time they signed up to be included in the study, which started in May.

Almost 90% of the people in the survey with long-term symptoms said that the impact on their lives was significant or very significant. A third said they were no longer able to work and a further 46% said they could not work as much as they did previously.

Earlier research

Earlier research by the RIVM supports the theory that Long Covid is having a significant impact. The RIVM’s behavioural research unit said in its most recent survey on the impact of coronavirus that over one third (37%) of participants who had had the disease said they still had symptoms more than three months after the infection.

These long-term symptoms were most common among people aged 40-69, where they affected 40%, but were also experienced by more than a quarter (27%) of the under-24s.

The RIVM is still looking for participants to join the research among both adults and children who recently had a positive coronavirus test.


On Tuesday, a group representing Long Covid sufferers in the Netherlands called on the government to both recognise the disease and to instigate multi-disciplinary research.

They also submitted a petition signed by 10,000 people to parliament’s health committee calling for further action.

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