OCTOBER 13, 2021
A study found that more than half of people who had Covid-19 experienced at least one long-haul symptom six months or more after their initial diagnosis, a rate that has the potential to “overwhelm existing health care capacity,” at a time when care systems are already bursting at the seams.
Published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the statistical survey included results from 57 studies that encompassed over 250,000 people who had survived Covid-19 and found that 54% suffered at least one symptom one month after their diagnosis, 55% did between two and five months after, and 54% did at six months or more.
The most common symptoms were wide ranging and included chest imaging abnormalities, difficulty concentrating, generalized anxiety disorder, functional impairments and fatigue or muscle weakness.
Issues with the heart, digestive system, and ear, nose, and throat were also frequently reported.
44,615,612. That’s how many coronavirus cases the United States has seen since the start of the pandemic as of press time, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Being vaccinated may not have an effect on someone’s risk of developing long Covid. According to a New England Journal of Medicine study quoted in the JAMA survey, 19% of people who have been fully vaccinated still experienced symptoms six weeks after initial infection.
Long-hauler syndrome can be one of the most debilitating effects for people who survive Covid-19 infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define long Covid as “a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems people can experience four or more weeks after first being infected.” People who did not experience symptoms from their Covid-19 bout can still experience post-infection symptoms, according to the CDC. A study published by the group last month found that one-third of people were dealing with symptoms two months after being infected. The organization said that more research is needed to understand who gets these symptoms and why they last so long.