According to the observations of a small UK study, more than half of the COVID-19 patients discharged from the hospital continued to have symptoms of breathlessness, exhaustion, anxiety and depression for two to three months after their initial infection.
The study, led by scientists at Oxford University in the United Kingdom, looked at the long-term effects of COVID-19 in 58 hospitalized patients.
Some patients have been shown to have irregularities in multiple organs after being infected with the novel coronavirus while prolonged inflammation for months has caused complications for some.
The research has not been peer-reviewed by other scientists and was published before review.
“These findings underscore the need to further explore the physiological processes associated with COVID-19 and to develop a holistic, integrated model of clinical care for our patients after they have been discharged from hospital,” said Betty Raman, a doctor at Oxford’s Radcliffe Department of Medicine who co-led the research.
An earlier study published last week by the British National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) showed that persistent illness after COVID-19 infection, often referred to as ‘long COVID,’ can include a wide range of symptoms affecting all parts of the body and mind.
The Oxford study’s results showed that 64 percent of patients suffered persistent breathlessness and 55 percent reported significant fatigue even two to three months after the onset of COVID-19.
MRI scans show that 60 percent COVID-19 patients have abnormalities in the lungs, 29% in the kidneys, 26% in the hearts and 10% in the livers.
“The abnormalities detected can be strongly correlated with serum markers of inflammation,” Raman said. “This suggests a potential link between chronic inflammation and ongoing organ damage among survivors.”