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COVID-19 can leave long-term health effects in recovered patients

By Wang Xiaodong | | Updated: 2020-11-24 20:46
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COVID-19 may produce long-term health consequences to humans, with more than 70 percent of cured patients still displaying at least one symptom after onset of the illness, according to a latest study.

COVID-19 patients discharged from hospitals are mainly troubled with fatigue, muscle weakness, sleep difficulties and anxiety, according to the study, which followed up 1,733 COVID-19 patients discharged from Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital, in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei province, between Jan 7 and May 29.

The median follow-up time after the patients first started to display symptoms was six months, Cao Bin, vice-president of China-Japan Friendship Hospital and a leading researcher, said at a health conference co-held by The Lancet and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences that opened on Monday afternoon.

During research, follow-up was conducted in the outpatient clinic of Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital, and all participants were interviewed face-to-face by trained physicians. They were asked to complete a series of questionnaires, and they also underwent other tests, including a six-minute walking test, Cao said.

The result showed that at six-months after symptom onset, about half of the patients still have at least one abnormal computed topography pattern. More severely ill patients during hospitalization tend to have more severe impaired lung diffusion capacity and abnormal chest imaging, he said.

Based on the study, recovered COVID-19 patients should take regular physical exercise to maintain health, avoid consumption of alcohol or smoking and receive psychological counseling if necessary, among other recommendations, Cao said.

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