Published: Thu, January 14, 2021
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This Bacteria Lurking in Your Gut May Worsen COVID Symptoms, Research Finds

This Bacteria Lurking in Your Gut May Worsen COVID Symptoms, Research Finds

He added that "Our analysis indicates that most patients continue to live with at least some of the effects of the virus after leaving the hospital, and highlights a need for post-discharge care, particularly for those who experience severe infections".

Patients involved in the study had a median age of 57 years old and 52 percent were men. The study aims at describing the long-term consequences of COVID-19 in patients after hospital discharge and identify the potential risk factors.

"To our knowledge, this study is the largest cohort study with the longest follow-up duration for the consequences of adult patients discharged from hospital recovering from Covid-19", wrote researcher Chaolin Huang, of Jin Yin-tan Hospital, Wuhan, China, and colleagues in The Lancet, published online January 8.

Sleep difficulties, anxiety, and depression were also commonly reported.

While similar studies done in the United States and the United Kingdom also painted a puzzling picture for COVID-19 "long-haulers", authors of the Chinese study stressed that only 2 percent of their sampled patients said they had difficulties doing daily activities due to ongoing symptoms, meaning most of the discharged patients appeared able to resume their normal lives. He added, "What is clear, however, is that long-term symptoms after COVID-19 are common, and that research into the causes and treatments of long COVID will likely be needed long after the outbreak itself has subsided". 56 per cent of those with severe illness experienced a reduced flow of oxygen from the lungs to the bloodstream.

The follow-up also revealed significantly lower antibodies against Covid-19 at 6 months, compared to those observed during acute illness, raising concerns about SARS-CoV-2 reinfection in patients who have had the disease. For patients at severity scale 4 (who required oxygen therapy) and those at scale 3 (who did not require oxygen therapy) the figures were 29 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively.

As for dealing with anxiety or depression, which was reported among 23 percent of patients in the study, Huang suggested psychological therapy including counseling, as these mental issues may be the result of the neurological effects of the disease as well as societal misunderstanding and stigmatization.

400 patients further underwent more tests, including lung function and blood antibody levels - which were recorded for 94 patients.

In a comment article also published in the Lancet, Monica Cortinovis, Norberto Perico, and Giuseppe Remuzzi, from Italy's Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri IRCCS, said there was uncertainty over the long-term health consequences of the pandemic.

According to the study, 41 per cent of the 390 patients tested for lung function experienced reduced lung function.

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