half of first patients hospitalized in 2020 still have symptoms, study finds

A study of ex-patients from Wuhan shows that more than half of them still suffer from fatigue, pain, sleeping problems or even psychological problems more than two years after their hospitalization.

Although their infection dates back more than two years, a large proportion of the first people hospitalized with Covid-19 still have lingering symptoms of the disease, according to a new study.

Published on Wednesday in the scientific journal the lancet, it suggests that 55% of people hospitalized for a coronavirus infection still have at least one symptom. While this proportion is significant, it remains lower than six months after infection, where 68% of first-time hospitalized people showed at least one symptom of the disease.

Work performed on patients from Wuhan

The work, conducted by researchers from the China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing, involves 1,192 people who were admitted to the Jin Yin-tan Hospital in Wuhan, China, where the first cases of Covid-19 were discovered, between January and May 2020. .

These same patients were re-examined six months, twelve months and two years after their hospitalization. Medical tests, including lung function and six-minute walks, determined that the participants were in worse health than before their infection.

Those who have experienced persistent symptoms of Covid-19 have reported pain, fatigue, sleep and mental health problems, among others. In addition, those who received comprehensive respiratory support during their hospitalization had more long-term lung problems than other former patients.

More consultation and more difficulty with sports

Also, participants with persistent complaints went to the GP more often than before the pandemic. They also indicate that they have more difficulty with sports. While most have since returned to work, the study says it’s unclear whether they work as much as they did before the disease.

“There is a clear need for continued support for a significant portion of the population who has contracted Covid-19 and to understand how vaccines, emerging treatments and variants affect long-term health,” said Dr. Bin Cao, co- author of the study.

However, the latter has its limits, as the authors did not compare the results with those of people hospitalized for reasons other than Covid-19, but with those who had never contracted the disease.

In addition, the results are all from patients from the same hospital who were infected during the first wave of the pandemic. The preparation of health facilities during the waves that followed, as well as the worldwide vaccination against the coronavirus, are factors that can have a significant impact on the health status of former Covid patients.

Hugues Garnier BFMTV journalist

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