COVID-19 research briefs: Symptoms of COVID-19 persist for at least 60 days in 67% of patients

Daily POEMs

Published: 2020-11-21 © 2020 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Clinical question
How long do COVID-19 symptoms persist in people with mild to moderate infection?

Bottom line
Symptoms (weight loss, severe dyspnea or asthenia/fatigue, chest pain, palpitations, anosmia/ageusia, headache, cutaneous signs, arthralgia, myalgia, digestive disorders, fever, or sick leave) persist at 60 days for two-thirds of people with mild to moderate COVID infection. (LOE = 2c)

Reference
Carvalho-Schneider C, Laurent E, Lemaignen A, et al. Follow-up of adults with non-critical COVID-19 two months after symptoms' onset. Clin Microbiol Infect 2020; S1198-743X (20)30606-6.

Study design: Cohort (retrospective)

Setting: Inpatient (ward only)

Synopsis
Research Brief #66: This report from one hospital in France describes persistent symptoms in patients who had mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19 during the initial illness. Persistent symptoms were defined as: weight loss of at least 5%, severe dyspnea or asthenia/fatigue, chest pain, palpitations, anosmia/ageusia, headache, cutaneous signs, arthralgia, myalgia, digestive disorders, fever, or sick leave. Of the 293 patients who presented during the study period, 150 had mild to moderate disease (ie, not admitted to the intensive care unit, not a nursing home resident, and not dead) and were available for 30-day follow up via phone call and medical records review. A total of 130 were available for follow-up at 60 days. At day 30, 69% (103/150) had at least one persistent symptom; at day 60, 66% (86/130) still had at least one persistent symptom. At day 30, 28% had anosmia/ageusia, 37% had shortness of breath, and 50% had asthenia/fatigue. At day 60, 23% had anosmia/ageusia, 30% had shortness of breath, and 40% had asthenia/fatigue. At day 60, more than one-third of patients still felt sick or felt worse than during the initial phase of the illness.

John Hickner, MD, MS
Professor Emeritus
Dept of Family Medicine
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI

Copyright © 2020 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.