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Majority of long COVID-19 symptoms experienced by survivors with mild cases, study reveals

An extensive Israeli investigation found that for persons with mild cases of COVID-19, the majority of long-lasting symptoms heal within the first year following infection.

In the vast majority of patients, the mild disease does not result in acute or chronic long-term morbidity, according to study coauthor Barak Mizrahi, a senior researcher at KI Research Institute in Kfar Malal.

Long COVID-19 Symptoms

The study, published Wednesday in the journal The BMJ, compared thousands of vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals with moderate symptoms who did not require hospitalization with individuals who tested negative for the virus. 

Long COVID-19 is defined as symptoms that persist or occur more than four weeks after the first infection with COVID-19.

Israeli researchers studied the medical records of nearly 300,000 individuals diagnosed with mild cases and compared their health during the next year to that of about 300,000 individuals who did not have COVID-19. Positive test subjects were, on average, 25 years old, and 51% were female.

Early, or within the first 30 to 180 days after contracting COVID-19; and late, or between 180 and 360 days after contracting the virus.

In the study, there were only minor variations between men and women, although children had fewer early symptoms than adults, which were mostly gone by the end of the year. 

Read more: COVID-19 vaccine has been discovered to provide protection against brain damage

Coronavirus Variants

COVID-19-BMJ-SARS-CoV-2-Health-Pandemic
An extensive Israeli investigation found that for persons with mild instances of COVID-19, the majority of long-lasting symptoms heal within the first year following infection.

The initial wild-type of SARS-CoV-2 from March 2020 to November 2020, the Alpha variant from January 2021 to April 2021, and the Delta variant exhibited no discernible alterations from July 2021 to October 2021.

Patients with mild COVID-19 had a higher risk for a small number of health outcomes, with only a few symptoms persisting a year after SARS-CoV-2 infection, and their risk declined over time, Mizrahi wrote in an email.

Nevertheless, we do not claim that there are no individuals with long-term COVID-19 symptoms such as dyspnea difficulty breathing, weakness, cognitive impairment, etc., he noted. 

“This analysis shows that a tiny number of individuals suffer from long-lasting problems, and our study does not refute these findings,” it stated.

Read more: China COVID-19 update: Satellite image captures crowded funeral homes and crematoriums

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