Coronavirus: ‘mild’ infection still causes health issues after months
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Coronavirus: ‘mild’ infection still causes health issues after months

Credit: Belga

Almost three months after the first symptoms of the coronavirus showed up, many patients who were never hospitalised still have health problems, new research shows.

Over 90% of respondents indicated that they still have problems with simple daily activities, and 65% fear that they will not fully recover, according to research by Hasselt University, CIRO knowledge centre, Maastricht University and the Dutch Lung Fund.

27% even indicated that they considered their health to be “poor.” Barely 7% feel completely healthy again, even though 83% indicated that they were in good health before the infection. Most complaints centred around fatigue, shortness of breath, pressure on the chest, and head and muscle aches.

“This shows that a coronavirus infection can have a long-lasting effect on health. More than seven out of ten people surveyed even still have problems walking,” said Martijn Spruit (UHasselt/CIRO/UMaastricht) and Chris Burtin (UHasselt).

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“These results are astonishing. Especially if you know that these are all people who did not end up in hospital after the infection,” they added.

“We see that in this group of people with a so-called ‘mild form’ of corona (sic), more than half of those questioned indicated that they had no aftercare and/or were very dissatisfied with it,” said the researchers. “This despite the fact that they are still struggling with health problems,” they said, adding that this group is in danger of falling between the crack.

The researchers questioned 214 people in Flanders with the coronavirus, who have not been hospitalised.

A similar survey, of 1,600 people in the Netherlands, yielded virtually the same conclusions, the researchers point out. After the summer, they will launch another survey among the respondents to see whether their health problems persist.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times