Long Covid study shows patients unable to work six months later

Image source: ©Elnur via canva.com

A long Covid study shows that patients experiencing illness following infection are unable to work at full capacity six months later.

“Long Covid” pertains to patients with prolonged illness after initially being diagnosed with Covid. They typically suffer from shortness of breath, migraines, and chronic fatigue.


Recent studies suggest that an increasing number of Covid patients manifest persistent symptoms, with some patients calling themselves as “long haulers.”

A preliminary study released on MedRxiv represents the biggest collection of symptoms detected in the long Covid population to date.

The researchers examined 3,762 people ages 18 to 80 from 56 countries to determine the symptoms and other issues caused by long Covid.


The study posted 205 symptoms in 10 organ systems, with 66 symptoms found over seven months. On average, respondents had symptoms from nine organ systems.

Observations show that fatigue, tiredness after exercise, and cognitive dysfunction are the most frequent symptoms experienced after six months.

Patients with symptoms over six months had an average of 13.8 symptoms in the seventh month, according to the study by members of Patient Led Research for COVID-19.


Over 45% of respondents had to reduce their work schedule compared with pre-illness while 22.3% said they were not employed at the time of the survey due to their health situation. Meanwhile, almost 86% had relapses, with exercise, physical or mental activity and stress determined as the main triggers.

The analysis focused on suspected and confirmed Covid infections with illness lasting over 28 days and onset prior to June. With this, symptoms were examined over an average duration of six months, researchers said.

“We mustn’t forget Long Covid,” Dr. Gabriel Scally, president of epidemiology at the Royal Society of Medicine, said via Twitter on Tuesday.

“Thousands of new cases are developing every day. Vaccination is vital but it must be done effectively and backed up by other control measures that Independent Sage has tirelessly advocated,” said Scally a member of the scientific group that provides scientific advice about the pandemic to the U.K. government and public.

Doctors “don’t understand” why some patients have symptoms of Covid-19 that last for as long as weeks or months, emergency care physician Dr. Ron Elfenbein said during an interview with CBS News.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), patients with mild cases of Covid-19 recover in about two weeks. However, some who are considered as “long-haulers” suffer from the symptoms longer, even after initially improving.

Based on a recent Dutch study, a vast majority of individuals manifesting coroanvirus symptoms said they still suffer health problems such as extreme fatigue or shortness of breath nearly three months later. The study investigated 1,600 people with coronavirus symptoms, 91% of whom were never hospitalized. Their average age was 53.

“These people reported that they still had symptoms — shortness of breath, cough, headache, intermittent fevers, brain fog, trouble concentrating, chest pain, palpitations, things like that — that continued for months and months and months,” Elfenbein said on CBSN.

“The scary part about this is that when they looked at these people, 85% of them considered themselves healthy before this happened, and afterwards, only 6% reported they were healthy, so these are like everyday people that had no medical problems.”