Covid long: study records 23 symptoms more than a year after infection; see list

Half of people diagnosed with covid-19 have consequences that can last for more than a year, found in a study by Fiocruz Minas that looked at the effects of the disease over time. Of the 646 patients with new coronavirus who were followed by the researchers for 14 months, 324 (50.2%) had post-infection symptoms, reflecting long-term covidium classified by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The study counted 23 symptoms after the end of the acute infection. Fatigue, characterized by extreme fatigue and difficulty performing routine functions, is the main complaint reported by 35.6% of patients. The most frequent sequelae are persistent cough (34%), difficulty breathing (26.5%), loss of odor or taste (20.1%) and recurrent headache (17.3%). Fiocruz also highlights mental consequences such as insomnia (8%), anxiety (7.1%) and dizziness (5.6%). More serious sequelae were diagnosed in a minority, such as thrombosis, which affected 6.2% of the population that followed.

The 23 symptoms identified in the study are:

sore throat

loss of appetite


cold in the head

presence of mucus in the throat or nose

red spots on the skin

low mobility

dizziness, vertigo

chest pain


joint pain



change in blood pressure


red eyes

body pain



loss of odor or taste

shortness of breath


The reported sequelae began after an acute infection and many of them lasted for 14 months, with some exceptions, such as thrombosis, which recovered more rapidly when properly treated. In addition, the study found that seven co-morbidities – chronic hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic kidney disease and smoking or alcoholism – made the acute infection more severe and increased the chance of sequelae.

But the consequences did not only manifest themselves in a serious form of the disease. Of the patients with mild form, 59.3% had persistent symptoms after the end of the infection and 75.4% of those with moderate form had sequelae. Of the patients with severe disease, 33.1% reported symptoms.

All study participants underwent RT-qPCR test and positive covid-19 tests. The team of researchers followed patients who sought treatment between April 2020 and March 2021. This means that these volunteers became infected before the mass vaccination in Brazil against the new coronavirus, which did not begin until January 17, 2021. Studies have shown that the use of vaccines can also reduce the effects of long-term covidium in patients

As Estadão showed in January, private medical centers and public hospitals have been mobilized to set up resuscitation and treatment networks for these patients. The WHO estimates that at least one in five patients will receive long-term covid sanctions.

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