Covid-19: six months later, a quarter of hospitalized patients still have symptoms



More than a year after the start of the coronavirus epidemic in France, the first scientific studies on “long Covid” are starting to arrive. Inserm followed 1,100 people hospitalized for Covid-19 one, three and six months after their admission to hospital. “These are patients from the first wave, so we do not know anything about possible differences with the variants”, warns Cédric Laouenan, from the epidemiology department of Bichat hospital. Ten symptoms were taken into account: fatigue, headaches, shortness of breath, loss of taste and smell, joint pain, etc.

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Six months after hospitalization, nearly a quarter of patients still had three or more symptoms, mainly fatigue, shortness of breath and joint and muscle pain, according to their results published Monday, May 10 in the specialist journal. Clinical Microbiology and Infection.

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Persistence more frequent among those admitted to intensive care

A significantly higher proportion than that of previous studies, where 10% to 15% of infected people reported a “long Covid”. “These other studies take into account patients who have not necessarily been hospitalized, which may explain the difference, recalls Jade Ghosn, from the infectious diseases department at Bichat hospital and co-author. We see that the symptoms persist more frequently in those admitted to intensive care, but for the moment we do not know whether it is the disease or the intensive care that favors this persistence. “

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“The reduction in symptoms is significant between the first and the third month, but much more modest between three months and six months, he continues. Which could suggest that the sequelae are fixing, but we will have to see a year later if this is still the case. “ A third of the patients, among those who exercise a professional activity, had still not returned to work, six months after their hospitalization.

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