Long-term COVID patients with mild virus should expect their symptoms to resolve within a year, the researchers suggest.
People with lingering effects after an illness are constantly concerned that lingering symptoms won’t go away.
However, academics believe that “mild disease will not lead to severe or chronic long-term disease.”
Israeli research team compares data from uninfected people Coronavirus disease Along with people with mild virus, which means they have symptoms but do not require hospitalization.
They also examined information on lingering symptoms of infection in vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
The study looked at information on nearly 2 million people, all of whom were tested for COVID-19 between March 2020 and October 2021.
Data from nearly 300,000 people with confirmed mild COVID cases were compared with the same number of people who did not have the disease.
The team also examined information on a range of long-term COVID symptoms, including loss of taste and smell, breathing problems, and problems with concentration and memory, also known as brain fog.
They found that lung COVID symptoms “persisted for several months” but almost always disappeared within a year.
“Longering” breathing problems were also found to be more common in those who had not been vaccinated against COVID, compared with those who had received the COVID vaccine.
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Writing in The BMJ, the academics said: “While there has been concern and discussion about the long-term COVID phenomenon since the start of the pandemic, we observed that most health outcomes that emerge after a mild course persist for several months and Return to normal within the first year.” .
“This nationwide dataset of patients with mild COVID-19 demonstrates that mild disease does not lead to severe or chronic long-term morbidity and imposes a small ongoing burden on healthcare providers.
“Importantly, compared with unvaccinated individuals, vaccinated patients with breakthrough infection had a reduced risk of persistent dyspnea, while the risks for all other outcomes were comparable.”
People aged 41 to 60 experienced the most long-term symptoms of at least six months compared with other age groups, the researchers said.
No effect of different types of coronavirus strains on the duration of long COVID was found.
In early December last year, an estimated 2.1 million people in the UK were experiencing self-reported pulmonary COVID, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Prolonged COVID was defined as symptoms lasting more than 4 weeks after infection.