Moneycontrol PRO
Upcoming Webinar:Prashant Shah explains ‘Irrelevance of Bull & Bear Markets for Success in Technical Analysis’. Register For Free!
you are here: HomeNewsTrendsHealth

A fifth of asymptomatic Covid-19 patients develop long Covid: Study

"Long Covid" refers to symptoms of the disease that persist more than four weeks after being diagnosed.

June 16, 2021 / 01:26 PM IST

Almost a fifth of Covid patients without symptoms went on to experience conditions consistent with long Covid a month after their initial diagnosis, according to a huge study published Tuesday.

The analysis by non-profit FAIR Health encompassed insurance claims from 1.96 million Americans -- the largest population of patients ever studied for long Covid -- from February 2020 to February 2021.

"Even as the Covid-19 pandemic wanes, long-haul Covid persists as a public health issue affecting many Americans," said FAIR Health's president Robin Gelburd.

Follow our LIVE blog for latest updates of the novel coronavirus pandemic

"The findings in our new study shed significant light on this emerging issue for all individuals who have long-haul COVID, as well as for policy makers, providers, payors and researchers."

Close

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

View more
How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

View more
Show

Perils of 'Long Covid'

"Long Covid" refers to symptoms of the disease that persist more than four weeks after being diagnosed.

The study found that across all ages, the most common post viral conditions were in order of frequency: pain, breathing difficulties, high cholesterol, general discomfort and fatigue, and high blood pressure.

The odds of dying 30 days or more after initially being diagnosed with Covid were 46 times higher for patients who were hospitalized with Covid and discharged compared to those who weren't hospitalized.

Overall, 0.5 percent of Covid patients who were hospitalized then discharged died 30 days or more after their initial diagnosis.

Nineteen percent of asymptomatic Covid patients experienced long Covid symptoms 30 days out from their initial diagnosis; the figure grew to 27.5 percent of Covid patients who were symptomatic but not hospitalized, and 50 percent of those who were hospitalized.

The order of most common long Covid conditions varied by age group -- for example in the pediatric population, intestinal issues replaced high cholesterol as the third most frequent.

Most long Covid conditions were associated more with females than males -- but some, such as cardiac inflammation, were more common in males, who accounted for 52 percent of cases against 48 percent for females.

A quarter of all such cases occurred among individuals aged 19-29.

Among the four mental health conditions evaluated after 30 days, anxiety was the most common, followed by depression, adjustment disorders and tic disorder.

The biggest drawback of the new study is it lacks a control group of people who never got Covid, which would help determine the extent to which Covid caused the conditions as opposed to being coincidental.

The causes of long Covid, which is also known as long haul Covid, post-Covid syndrome or post-acute sequelae of Covid, remain unknown.

"Theories include persistent immune activation after the acute phase; initial damage from the virus, such as damage to nerve pathways, that is slow to heal; and persistent presence of low-level virus," the study said.

Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.
AFP
first published: Jun 16, 2021 01:26 pm

stay updated

Get Daily News on your Browser
Sections
ISO 27001 - BSI Assurance Mark