COVID-19 patients experience symptoms in two to three months after contracting the virus, according to a new study by Oxford University on Monday.
The study found that a high percentage of patients discharged from hospitals were still experiencing some symptoms, such as shortness of breath, fatigue, anxiety, and depression, months after they were infected with the novel coronavirus.
Scientists also believe that persistent or chronic inflammation may be an underlying factor for the abnormalities in multiple organs among COVID-19 survivors, a written statement by the university said.
A total of 58 novel coronavirus patients, who had been admitted to hospitals in March-May, participated in the study.
Some 64% of the patients experienced persistent breathlessness and 55% complained of significant fatigue two or three months after contracting the virus, the study suggested.
Tissue signal abnormalities were observed in the lungs of 60% of the patients, in the kidneys of 29%, in the hearts of 26%, and the livers of 10% of the patients.
Tissue changes in parts of the brain were also detected under magnetic resonance imaging, with patients demonstrating impaired cognitive performance.
Patients also showed symptoms of anxiety and depression, the study found.
“These findings underscore the need to further explore the physiological processes associated with COVID-19 and to develop a holistic, integrated model of clinical care for our patients after they have been discharged from hospital,” Dr. Betty Raman, who is leading the study, said.
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