It seems that symptoms linked to COVID-19 may remain persistent for some patients even after receiving treatment and recovering from the virus, according to new research.
A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on July 9, 2020 observed patients who have recovered from the novel coronavirus in Italy and found that certain symptoms were still present in some, specifically fatigue and shortness of breath.
Researchers observed 143 patients between ages 19 and 84 years old who received medical attention for COVID-19 in a hospital and consequently tested negative for the virus post-treatment. They found that 87.4 percent reported at least one persistent symptom, with 53.1 percent experiencing fatigue, 43.4 percent experiencing dyspnea or shortness of breath, 27.3 percent experiencing joint pain, and 21.7 percent experiencing chest pain. None of the patients, however, reported signs of fever. The study also did not mention whether the reoccurrence of symptoms meant the patients still had the virus in them and are consequently infectious.
In May 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report stating that there are patients who are enduring a longer recovery period and even relapsing. "We have to separate here what is a long struggle to get back to full health from what might be a continued Covid-19 syndrome where you have persistent virus," Dr. Mike Ryan of WHO said in a press conference back in May. Additionally, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove of WHO shared that the discovery is still premature and that, “We’re learning every day more and more about this virus and the diseases that it causes.”