Infectious Disease

Persistent poor well being after COVID-19 doesn’t look like associated to the preliminary severity of the an infection

January 08, 2021

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Townsend does not report any relevant financial information. In the study you will find all relevant financial information from all other authors.

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Persistent poor health after COVID-19 does not appear to be linked to the severity of the initial infection, researchers reported in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

“We found that fatigue, illness and shortness of breath were common after COVID-19,” said Dr. Liam Townsend, a research fellow in the clinical medicine department at Trinity Translational Medicine Institute at Trinity College and a subject registrar in the infectious diseases department at St. James Hospital, Dublin, said in a press release from the American Thoracic Society. “However, these symptoms did not appear to be related to the severity of the initial infection or a single measurement at the time of an outpatient appointment.”

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The researchers conducted a cross-sectional study to analyze the rates of recovery of 153 patients observed in an outpatient clinic a median 75 days after their first COVID-19 diagnosis in March to May. All participants were given a chest x-ray and a 6-minute walk test. Researchers rated fatigue and subjective return to health, and measured C-reactive protein, interkeukin-6, soluble CD25, and D-dimer in each participant.

The severity of the infection was graded such that no hospitalization, hospitalization, or intensive care is required. Almost half (n = 74) of the patients required hospitalization during an acute infection (mean age 40.2 years; 72.2% women), 55 required hospitalization (mean age 56.4 years; 47.3% women) and 19 one Intensive care (mean) age 54.5 years; 26.3% women).

The results suggest that COVID-19 does not cause significant fibrosis. Lung scarring was seen on CT scans by only 4% of participants after previous abnormalities were detected by X-rays in a larger group.

The mean distance of 6 minutes on foot was 460 m, and a reduced distance was found to be associated with frailty and length of inpatient stay.

62 percent of patients said they were not healthy again and 47 percent said they were tired. Patients who felt they needed to exert themselves during moderate exercise said they felt tired and in poor health, according to the press release.

“We were surprised by our results,” Townsend said in the press release. “We expected a larger number of abnormal chest x-rays. We also expected the measures for persistent illness and abnormal findings to be related to the severity of the initial infection, which was not the case. “

The researchers said these results underscore the importance of follow-up care for all patients diagnosed with COVID-19, regardless of the severity of the initial infection.

“This study shows the persistent illness after a SARS-CoV-2 infection, which seriously affects the quality of life,” the researchers write. “The lack of association with the severity of the infection shows that this can be a problem for a large number of patients and this should be used to inform management strategies for convalescent patients.”

Reference:

Press release.

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