1 in 4 young adults with COVID-19 still have symptoms weeks later

Young people shouldn’t expect to bounce back immediately after infection with COVID-19 – new study finds about a quarter of young adults still had not returned to their normal state within weeks of contracting the disease. infection, even though they had no health problems and were not hospitalized.

Results show that recovery from COVID-19 “can be prolonged, even in young adults without chronic medical conditions, potentially leading to prolonged absence from work, school or other activities,” according to the report, released Friday 24 July by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Although many studies have focused on COVID-19 hospital patients, the researchers wanted to assess what healing looks like for patients with less severe illness who are not hospitalized – called “outpatients”. So they analyzed information from nearly 300 American adults aged 18 and older in 13 states who were tested for COVID-19 in a clinic or emergency room, but were not hospitalized at the time of the test. test. Because the study researchers wanted to look at recovery, they only included people who tested positive and said they had at least one COVID-19 symptom at the time of their test. Participants were followed by an interview two to three weeks after their test date to see how they were doing.

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Overall, about two-thirds of all adults in the study said they returned to their usual health about a week after their test date, but 35% said they had not returned to their usual state of health at the time of the interview, 14 to 21 days after the date of their test.

Among young adults (aged 18 to 34), 1 in 4 still recovered two to three weeks later; this number has risen to 1 in 3 for those 35 to 49 and to almost 1 in 2 for those 50 and over.

Even for healthy young adults without underlying medical conditions: about 1 in 5 people had persistent symptoms two or three weeks later

Overall, among those who had not recovered, the symptoms least likely to go away were cough and fatigue.

The results show that COVID-19 is not “just another flu“- Data from previous years showed that more than 90% of outpatients with influenza returned to normal within two weeks of testing positive, the report said.

“Public health messages should target populations who may not perceive the COVID-19 disease to be severe or prolonged, including young adults and those without underlying chronic medical conditions,” the report says. .

Measures such as social distancing, frequent hand washing and the use of face coverings in public should be “strongly encouraged” to slow the spread of COVID-19, the authors concluded.

Originally posted on Live Science.

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