In addition to coronary heart/lung signs, Intestine mentioned sufferers can have profound fatigue and neuro-cognitive modifications — generally dubbed “mind fog.” And people issues may even strike individuals who had milder COVID and by no means wanted to be hospitalized, Intestine mentioned.
So whereas SARS-CoV-2 is a respiratory virus, the ensuing illness can have broad results within the physique.
“COVID is a whole-body sickness,” Iwashyna mentioned, “and so is lengthy COVID.”
The findings, revealed lately within the Journal of Hospital Medicine, are primarily based on the preliminary sufferers in a bigger, ongoing government-funded examine. It is going to comply with as much as 1,500 sufferers hospitalized for COVID at massive hospitals throughout the US.
Iwashyna’s group discovered that of 253 sufferers surveyed one month after discharge, about 55% mentioned they’d not less than one new or worsening coronary heart/lung symptom — mostly a continual cough.
In the meantime, 53% mentioned they’d bodily limitations that had not been current earlier than, together with issues with every day duties equivalent to buying, carrying groceries and even strolling round the home.
In addition to the bodily toll, the examine discovered, there was a monetary one: About 20% of sufferers mentioned they’d both misplaced or needed to change their job, whereas 38% mentioned a cherished one had taken break day from work to take care of them.
As a result of lengthy COVID is complicated and assorted, Intestine mentioned, there is no such thing as a “one dimension matches all” solution to handle the signs.
A method to assist hospitalized sufferers is thru residence well being providers after discharge.
However, Iwashyna mentioned, few sufferers on this examine truly acquired these providers — and there have been hints which may have contributed to their disabilities. Of sufferers who reported new bodily limitations, a full 77% had not acquired residence well being care.
“This makes me surprise, are we nonetheless underestimating how dangerous the long-term results could be?” Iwashyna mentioned.
Each he and Intestine careworn a important level: One of the simplest ways to avert lengthy COVID is to keep away from getting COVID within the first place.
“Get vaccinated,” Iwashyna suggested.
The vaccines are “not good,” he mentioned, and breakthrough infections can generally happen. However they nonetheless slash the chance of getting sick, and are extremely efficient at preserving folks out of the hospital.