Long-Term Sequelae Specific to SARS-CoV-2 Infection Identified

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

Palpitations, hair loss, fatigue, chest pain, dyspnea, joint pain, obesity seen after SARS-CoV-2 versus other viral respiratory infections

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Feb. 13, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Sequelae associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection have been identified, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in Open Forum Infectious Diseases.

William I. Baskett, from the University of Missouri in Columbia, and colleagues analyzed 17,487 patients who received diagnoses for SARS-CoV-2 infection in 122 health care facilities to examine health effects occurring more than one month postinfection. From March 1, 2020, to April 1, 2021, patients were propensity score-matched to those diagnosed with the common cold, influenza, or viral pneumonia (viral respiratory infection [VRI]). In addition, patients with COVID-19 and patients with VRI were propensity score-matched to patients without COVID-19 or VRI. COVID-19-specific effects were considered in cases where COVID-19 infection was a significant positive predictor in both COVID-19 versus VRI and COVID-19 versus control comparisons.

The researchers found that in the postinfectious period, SARS-CoV-2 was associated with diagnoses of palpitations, hair loss, fatigue, chest pain, dyspnea, joint pain, and obesity compared with common VRIs.

“The survivors still have symptoms that are at times disabling and preventing them from going back to work or the activities of their daily life,” a coauthor said in a statement. “This is not because the COVID-19 infection is still active, but instead the infection has caused long-term consequences, or sequelae, in the form of a post-COVID syndrome that could persist for months or even years. Our research was able to identify long-term sequelae that are distinctive to COVID-19 and separate the post-COVID syndrome from other post-viral syndromes.”

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