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Almost a third of people report lingering symptom 6-12 months after COVID-19 -study -Breaking

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© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: A long COVID-suffering patient was examined at the COVID-19 (post-coronavirus) clinic at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv. It took place on February 21, 2022. REUTERS/Amir Cohen/File photo

Jennifer Rigby

(Reuters) – Nearly a third report some form of persistent symptoms between six and twelve months following coronavirus infections, according to a study of 152,000 Danish citizens.

Researchers from Denmark’s State Serum Institute (SSI), said that the study contains one of largest yet-untreated groups of COVID patients and they were followed longer than most major studies.

Based on a questionnaire, the study found that long-term changes in smell and taste were most frequently reported.

This survey, which was done between September 2020 and March 2021 well before Omicron variant spike, compared responses from 61,002 people tested positive for coronavirus 6-9 or 12 months ago with negative results of 91 878.

As a group, 29,6% reported having at least one continuing physical condition 6-12 months after their infection. That compares with 13% who received a control sample.

Only 53.1% of people with positive test results said that they experienced mental, physical or sleep difficulties or cognitive impairments within 6-12 months. This is compared with 11.5% for the control group.

The study found that people with a history SARS-CoV-2 were more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety or depression.

Although the study was pre-published, it has yet to be peer reviewed.

Anders Peter Hviid (a professor of epidemiology at SSI) was the study author. He said that these results were another indication that policymakers should consider the long tail in COVID-19.

In a telephone interview, he stated that vaccinations are something people should consider.

The prevalence of COVID, also known as long COVID, is not well understood. The World Health Organization (WHO), which calls this syndrome Post-COVID-19, defines the condition as “continuing symptoms” that occur three months after an initial infection. They include fatigue, shortness or breathlessness.

According to the WHO, between 10 and 20 percent of those affected are at risk. More research is required on long-term outcomes.

David Strain (a lecturer at University of Exeter Medical School, UK) called the report “really worrying.”

“If Omicron is causing long Covid at the same rate as these earlier variants, we could be looking at a major crisis over the next 12 months given the number of people who have been exposed to this virus,” he said.

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