Half of young adults still have persistent symptoms six months after COVID-19

June 24, 2021

A study more than 300 patients with COVID-19 in Bergen, Norway – comprising 82% of cases in the city during the first wave of the pandemic – has revealed how symptoms of the disease persist for some six months after SARS-CoV-2 infection. The study from the Bergen COVID-19 Research Group followed infected patients diagnosed at the city’s only centralised testing facility, including home-isolated cases.

COVID-19 is a complex systemic disease that mainly affects the respiratory tract; and may affect the cardiovascular, renal, hematologic, gastrointestinal, and central nervous system.

The most common symptoms, as noted in the study, were loss of smell and/or taste, fatigue, shortness of breath, impaired concentration, and memory problems – analysis revealed 61% of the total patient population had persistent symptoms six months afterwards. On the other hand, frequency of most symptoms increased with age in the study population; disturbed smell and/or taste was more frequent in patients younger than 46 years old.

“[…] more than 50% of young adults up to 30 years old, isolated at home, still have persistent symptoms six months after mild to moderate disease,” pointed out Professor Nina Langeland, Department of Clinical Science, University of Bergen (UIB).

Meanwhile, in non-hospitalised COVID-19 patients, at least 30% experienced fatigue, which was the most common symptom. Children under the age of 16 years had fewer long-term symptoms than adults, but Associate Professor Bjørn Blomberg, highlighted that “the cognitive symptoms of impaired memory and concentration difficulties are particularly worrying for young people at school or university. Associate professor Blomberg also mentioned the importance of vaccination to prevent the long-term health implications of COVID-19.

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Category: Education, Features

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