A paper published in the prestigious journal Nature Medicine on long-COVID describes persistent symptoms six months after acute COVID-19, even in home-isolated people.
The study from the Bergen COVID-19 Research Group followed infected patients during the first pandemic wave in Bergen Norway.
"The main novel finding is that more than fifty per cent of young adults up to 30 years old, isolated at home, still have persistent symptoms six months after mild to moderate disease," the leader of the group, Professor Nina Langeland, explains.
The most common symptoms were loss of smell and/or taste, fatigue, shortness of breath, impaired concentration, and memory problems.
"There was a significant correlation between high antibody levels and symptoms in home-isolated patients, other risk factors for symptoms were asthma or other chronic lung disease," says Professor Rebecca Cox, Head of the Influenza Centre at University of Bergen and Haukeland University Hospital and co-leader of the research group.
Impaired memory and concentration difficulties
In non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients, thirty percent experienced fatigue, which was the most common symptom. Children under the age of 16 years had fewer long-term symptoms than adults, but Associate Professor Bjørn Blomberg, and first author of the article, underlines that "the cognitive symptoms of impaired memory and concentration difficulties are particularly worrying for young people at school or university and highlights the importance of vaccination to prevent the long-term health implications of COVID-19."
More information: Bjørn Blomberg et al, Long COVID in a prospective cohort of home-isolated patients, Nature Medicine (2021). DOI: 10.1038/s41591-021-01433-3
Journal information: Nature Medicine
Provided by University of Bergen