Soon after the pandemic swept the world, reports began to emerge from various countries of the long-term effects of the infection, such as chronic fatigue, insomnia, joint pain, and even autoimmune conditions. The “postcovidians,” as they call themselves, unite in groups on social networks, where they exchange experiences and, with the help of doctors, try to find ways to recover. At the moment, post-covid syndrome (or long-covid) is included in the International Classifier of Diseases ICD-10 in the wording “Post COVID-19 condition”.
However, until now, there has been no clear clinical data that would make it possible to understand how many patients suffer from the consequences of COVID-19. A group of scientists from Wuhan published the results of a study in The Lancet, involving 1,733 patients admitted to Jin Ying Tan Hospital in early 2020. For six months, doctors monitored their health and carried out regular examinations.
76% of patients reported at least one symptom six months later. Most often, those who had recovered complained of increased fatigue and muscle weakness – 63%. Sleep problems and symptoms of anxiety and depression were reported by 26% of the participants.
Medical studies have also found signs of kidney failure in a third of patients, which is associated with an increased risk of genital dysfunction and other disorders. X-rays of the lungs of about 200 participants showed lesions that have remained largely unchanged since the acute phase of the disease.
In addition, most of the patients tested showed too low an antibody level. According to the study authors, this could create a risk for re-infection in the future. Doctors should pay special attention to such patients, scientists say.