Most adults who test positive for coronavirus do not require hospitalization, but usually seek medical attention in the following months and two-thirds of those who do say they are state of health they didn’t have before ..
These are the results of a study conducted by investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente, which included 3,171 members of the integrated health care system Kaiser Permanente Georgia. More than half were black.
The message for patients is that even for those who have had only mild Covid-19, “you may have new or persistent symptoms a few months after the initial diagnosis,” said Dr. Alfonso C. Hernandez-Romier. , an infectious disease specialist from the CDC and lead author of the study. “And it’s important for people to make sure they go to their clinicians,” he said to express his concern.
“It’s equally important,” he added, “that clinicians recognize that there may be these long-term consequences, and really make sure they check on patients, treat them with empathy, and try to help them as best they can.”
Clinicians need to monitor patients for complications related to Covid-19 that are potentially very serious, such as blood clots, he said.
The study did not compare patients who tested positive for coronavirus and patients who did not, so the authors could not say whether people who were cured of mild Covid-19 had more doctor visits than those who never had a virus.
But two-thirds of patients who suffered a mild illness sought medical attention one to six months after being diagnosed with Covid-19, and about two-thirds of those who sought help were diagnosed with a completely new disease. New diagnoses included cough, shortness of breath, arrhythmias, chest or throat pain, and fatigue, “which are likely symptoms of Covid-19,” the study said.
Among those who sought medical care more frequently were adults over the age of 50, women, and those suffering from health conditions. Black adults were also slightly more likely than others to seek help. But overall, the authors note, the number of visits has declined over time.
The possibility of long-term complications, even after a mild course of the disease, underscores the need for prevention and vaccination measures, Dr. Hernandez-Ramier said.
“We don’t know much about post-Covid conditions,” he said. “Although most people do not suffer from severe covid disease and do not end up in the hospital, the potential for long-term health consequences is very important.”