Hundreds of thousands of individuals who had COVID-19, about 23 percent, later developed at least one "persistent or new" symptom four weeks after initial diagnosis.
The study by Fair Health tracked the health insurance records of nearly two million people who contracted COVID-19 in the United States. The study found COVID-19 had infected all age groups, including children. The most common symptoms included pain in nerves and muscles; breathing difficulties; malaise and fatigue; and other problems such as migraines; skin problems; heart abnormalities, and sleep disorders.
Post-COVID symptoms, the study suggested, were even found in people who did not report getting the virus. While roughly half of the people hospitalized with COVID-19 experienced subsequent medical issues, 27 percent also reported persisting symptoms and 19 percent who reported to be asymptomatic later developed post-COVID symptoms.
"One thing that was surprising to us was the large percentage of asymptomatic patients that are in that category of long COVID,” Robin Gelburd, president of FAIR Health, a nonprofit organization that conducted the study, said according to Yahoo News. But the scope of the study was limited as it only covered those with private health insurance or Medicare Advantage. One other complication to the study was it did not compare those who had COVID-19 with those who did not.
According to The New York Times, Gelburd further added that asymptomatic people exhibiting symptoms "may not have even known they had COVID,"
"Of patients who were hospitalized with COVID-19, the percentage that had a post-COVID condition was 50 percent; of patients who were symptomatic but not hospitalized, 27.5 percent; and of patients who were asymptomatic, 19 percent," the study said.
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