A study run by the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and Geneva’s HUG hospital (HUG) found around a third of those with Covid-19 had persistent symptoms.
The study focused on a sample of 669 patients among 5,534 testing positive for Covid-19 during the study period. Only symptomatic patients were being tested between 18 March and 15 May 2020 when the study was conducted.
The mean age among the sample group was 42.8. 24.6% were health workers, 60% were women and 68.8% had no underlying risk factors.
40 people (6%) in the group were hospitalised. Hospitalised patients were older and had a mean age of 53.2, 55% were men and 62.5% of them had underlying risk factors.
At 30 to 45 days (mean, 43 days) from diagnosis, at least 32% of the 669 originally included patients reported one or more symptoms. Fatigue, difficulty breathing (dyspnea), and loss of taste or smell were the main persistent symptoms. The percentages of patients suffering from each of these symptoms can be viewed in this chart.
The authors of the study said their results show that patients with Covid-19 can develop an array of persistent symptoms that evolve over time. Recognising these symptoms and discussing them with patients can provide reassurance, reduce anxiety, and potentially optimise recovery, they said.
Study link (in English)