Persistent COVID-19 Symptoms

Angie Szumlinski Studies

We have read and written many articles and blogs regarding this topic but it continues to fascinate everyone including researchers. The frequency and variety of persistent symptoms after COVID-19 are definitely stumping the medical community! In a study published in JAMA Open, a systematic review of 45 studies including 9,751 participants with COVID-19, the median proportion of individuals who experienced at least 1 persistent symptom was 73%; symptoms occurring most frequently included shortness of breath or dyspnea, fatigue, or exhaustion, and sleep disorders or insomnia.

The primary objective of this study was to systematically review existing literature examining the frequency and nature of persistent COVID-19 symptoms. This review found that persistent COVID-19 symptoms were common, with 72.5% of patients reporting at least 1 symptom at 60 days or more after diagnosis, symptom onset, or hospitalization or at 30 days or more after recovery from acute illness or hospital discharge.

The most frequently reported persistent symptoms were fatigue and shortness of breath, both of which can be debilitating. Atypical chest pain was reported in approximately 1 of 7 patients. Inability to concentrate, informally described as brain fog, was only examined in 4 of the studies and was experienced by approximately 1 in 4 patients. Post-COVID syndrome is real, we need to listen to our patients, staff, and our own bodies. Although there is no known treatment other than symptomatic care, please be sure that you are taking complaints related to post-COVID seriously, allow everyone time to heal and care for yourselves! Stay well, stay informed, and stay tuned!