Fatigue, shortness of breath and headache, 3 months later: even those with "mild" symptoms can suffer from Covid-19 for a long time

65 percent of Covid-19 patients who only had to cope with a mild form of the disease, say their general health is only "average" after 3 months.  27 percent are even labelling their health as "poor". This is according to research by the universities of Hasselt and Maastricht (Netherlands), the knowledge centre CIRO and the Dutch Lung Fund. 

Scientists involved 214 Flemish citizens in their research, people who got the disease but who didn't have to go to hospital. Their conclusions are similar to those of an earlier Dutch report which involved almost 1,600 citizens. 

Three months after contracting Covid-19, two in three patients say their health is still "average", while one in four are labelling it as "poor".  Only a minority of 7 percent say they are completely back to normal. This is despite 87 percent of the respondents being in good health before contracting the virus. Most complaints concern fatigue (86%), shortness of breath (53%), headache (41%), muscle pain (40%) and chest pressure (36%). 

Many still have problems walking. These results are simply staggering

"This shows that a corona infection can have long-term implications", say professor Martijn Spruyt (UHasselt/CIRO/Maastricht) and his colleague Chris Burtin from UHasselt. "More than 7 in 10 respondents even have problems to walk. These results are simply staggering. Especially when you know that none of these patients ended up in hospital."

Researchers say that we are talking of a group that didn't get a lot of attention so far. "Of these patients nursing a so-called mild Covid-19 disease, more than 50 percent had no feedback on how to cope or to recover, and they add they are very unhappy about this. This is depite the fact they are still feeling an impact now. We need to make sure these people are not forgotten."  

Top stories