Coronavirus health challenges persist six months after infection
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Coronavirus health challenges persist six months after infection

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Close to six months after being infected with the new coronavirus (Covid-19), more than one in two patients in Belgium and the Netherlands still have six or more health complaints.

This is one of the findings of a joint survey by the University of Hasselt, the Dutch knowledge centre Ciro, Maastrict University and the Dutch lung foundation, Longfonds.

Questionnaires were sent to 1,005 Belgian and Dutch patients who contracted the virus. Six months after they were infected, just 5% of patients said they no longer felt any symptoms.

On the other hand, 91% said they still had more than one symptom.

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The vast majority (86%) were still very tired 165 days after their first symptoms, while 59% still experienced shortness of breath, 36% often felt pressure on their chests, 35% had headaches, and 40% experienced muscle pain.

The overwhelming majority, 94%, were not hospitalised for Covid-19 and only had light symptoms. These were relatively young people, with an average age of 48 years.

About 86% of respondents said they had been in good health before their infection and 61% said they had not had any chronic illness before.

“This is a special population,” the head of the research team, Professor Martijn Spruit (UHasselt/Ciro/Maastricht) explained. “We are now able to carefully compare the evolution of the symptoms linked to the coronavirus in these persons. It’s a study that’s unique in the world.”

The Brussels Times