Long-term problems in younger low-risk COVID-19 patients
Young, healthy adults with COVID-19 who do not require hospitalization are still at risk for long-term health problems, Oxford University researchers found. They studied 201 recovering UK patients with an average age of 44, more than 90% of whom did not have risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease. Only 18% had been sick enough to be hospitalized. At an average of 140 days after their symptoms began, 98% were still fatigued, 92% had heart and lung symptoms, 88% had muscle aches, 87% had breathlessness, 83% headaches, and 73% gastrointestinal symptoms. Organ damage was more common among those who had been hospitalized. But it was not limited to that group as 66% of the patients had impairment of at least one organ. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans showed mild damage to lungs in 33%, heart in 32%, pancreas in 17%, kidneys in 12%, liver in 10% and spleen in 6%.