COVID-19 symptoms can linger for up to 6 months –study

Even after recovering from COVID-19, symptoms can linger for up to six months, a new study conducted in China found.

Tourists wear protective face masks while passing by a flag rising ceremony at Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan, March 11, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Ann Wang)

The study, published in The Lancet medical journal, found that more than half of participants suffered from at least one virus symptom months after being discharged from hospital.

According to the study, which included more than 1,700 patients from the original epicenter in Wuhan, fatigue and sleep difficulties were the most common COVID-19 symptoms that persisted up to six months.

Findings also show evidence of lung damage on X-rays of those more critically ill, months after the infection.

A previous study published in the British Medical Journal had similar findings of prolonged symptoms related to the virus.

According to researchers, the disease could also have long-lasting psychological effects, including anxiety and depression which were reported in 23 per cent of patients.

“Because COVID-19 is such a new disease, we are only beginning to understand some of its long-term effects on patients’ health,” said Dr Bin Cao, the researcher who led the team.

A previous study published in the British Medical Journal highlighted similar findings noting that around 10 per cent of patients had a prolonged illness lasting more than 12 weeks.