Thursday 01 December 2022

Nine in 10 people hospitalised with covid have symptoms a year later

A nurse and patient touch hands in a hospital.

Photo: Depositphotos

Nearly all patients admitted to hospital with Covid still suffer symptoms a year after being infected, according to new research published in The Lancet on Thursday.

Erasmus MC, Rijndam Rehabilitation and care institution Laurens conducted a study of 650 patients who were admitted to a hospital in the Rijnmond region with coronavirus between July 2020 and July 2021.

They found that 92% of the patients complained of pain, shortness of breath after exertion, severe fatigue and memory and concentration problems a year later.

‘What is striking is that there is virtually no improvement in the complaints,’ lung specialist Merel Hellemons of Erasmus MC, who spearheaded the research, told NOS.

Three months after being taken ill, 97% of patients still have symptoms and that proportion drops to 92% after 12 months.

Earlier research showed that one in eight patients still suffered from long covid symptoms three months after infection. But that was a broader sample of people who tested positive for the disease, whereas the research from Rijnmond focused exclusively on hospital patients.

Experts are unsure as to why some patients experience long covid symptoms and are calling for more research to be done.

Rehabilitation has shown to improve symptoms in some patients, but there are few treatment for those suffering from fatigue and cognitive problems.

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