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1 in 6 unvaccinated individuals report health effects from COVID-19 up to two years after infection

One in six unvaccinated individuals report health effects from COVID-19 up to two years after infection, a study from the University of Zurich in Switzerland and other institutions looked at 1,106 unvaccinated adults with a mean age of 50 years with confirmed infection between August 6, 2020, and January 19, 2021, along with 628 adults (mean age, 65 years). randomly selected from the general population that did not have the virus.

The study found that 17 percent of participants did not return to normal health and 18 percent reported symptoms related to covid-19 24 months after initial infection.

Overall, 55 percent of participants reported a return to normal health in less than a month after infection, while 18 percent reported recovery within one to three months.

After six months, the study found that 23 percent of participants had not recovered, a number that dropped to 19 percent at 12 months and 17 percent at 24 months.

Compared to people who did not have the infection, patients with covid-19 were found to have an excess risk of both physical problems such as a change in taste or smell (9.8 percent), fatigue after exertion (9.4 percent), and shortness of breath. breath (7.8 percent) and mental health problems such as reduced concentration (8.3 percent) and anxiety (4 percent) at month six.

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Symptom persistence over two years in adults

The researchers looked at patterns of recovery and symptom persistence over two years in adults from the Zurich SARS-CoV-2 Cohort, an ongoing study of individuals with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Participants provided information on 23 potential long-term covid symptoms six, 12, 18 and 24 months after infection. The study also took into account other potentially influential factors including age, gender, education, occupation and pre-existing health conditions.

People who reported symptoms at all follow-ups or reported worsening symptoms were more likely to be older and have pre-existing health problems, the study said.

The researchers acknowledged that this was an observational finding and that there were several limitations, including that they focused only on wild-type SARS-CoV-2 in an unvaccinated population and relied on self-reported health, which can be unreliable.

However, they reported that regular assessments of a number of health outcomes and similar findings after further analyzes were found to strengthen the credibility of the estimates.

“Persistent health problems pose significant challenges for affected individuals and place a significant burden on population health and health services,” the authors wrote, calling for clinical trials “to establish effective interventions to reduce the burden of disease after covid-19.” While most people who have covid-19 recover soon after the initial stage of the disease, there are others who have ongoing health problems, known as long-term covid, which can affect their quality of life and ability live.

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