Symptoms and complications persists in most of the patients even after the recovery.while many of them experienced severe aches and breathlessness , there are also cases of significant organ dysfunction mainly lungs and brain.
A recent study in Italy said that 87.4% of patients recovered from COVID-19 reported persistant symptom, particularly fatigue and dyspnea, even after two months of being discharged from the hospital.
Similar trend has also been noticed in India where doctors are are witnessing recovered patients coming back with complications prompting long term follow-up studies on people recovering from disease.
“There are two types of things happening. One is there are persistent non-specific symptoms like body ache and dry cough which is not that life threatening, but there are other symptoms like severe pneumonia and scarring of the lungs which may be potentially life threatening which needs to be monitored even after the discharge.
Similarly, COVID recovered people are also suffering strokes leading to the blood clots.
We are witnessing impaired lung function in many patients who had recovered and were without pre-existing lung disease before they got infected with COVID-19, similar to our experience in H1N1. However, this is too early and we have to keep a look out for lung functions,” says Dr Neeraj Jain, Chairman, chest medicine at Ganga Ram Hospital.
Findings of the JAMA study show very few patients were symptom-free, whereas quality of life of more than 44% of patients worsened due to the disease.
Over 53% individuals in the study showed fatigue, 43.4% dyspnea, whereas 27.3% had joint pain and around 22% continued with chest pain. Around 32% participants had 1 or 2 symptoms and 55% had 3 or more. None of the patients had fever or any signs or symptoms of acute illness.
However, only 12.6% were completely free of any COVID-19–related symptom at the time of the evaluation, researchers said.
Limitations of the study include the lack of information on symptom history before acute COVID-19 illness and the lack of details on symptom severity. Furthermore, this is a single-center study with a relatively small number of patients and without a control group of patients discharged for other reasons.All patients who met the World Health Organisation criteria or discontinuation of quarantine were followed up. From April 21 to May 29, 179 patients aged between 19-84 yrs were potentially eligible for the follow-up post-acute care assessment, of which 53 (37%) were women.