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Symptoms from severe cases of COVID-19 could linger, new evidence shows

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MADISON (WKOW) – There is a growing body of evidence suggesting those who experience severe cases of COVID-19 can have lasting effects for weeks or months after symptoms first emerge, according to UW Health.

These symptoms can continue after patients are discharged from the hospital or no longer test positive for the virus.

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, less than 13% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients were completely symptom free 60 days after the onset of their first symptom. Of the patients surveyed, 32% had 1 or 2 symptoms and 55% had 3 or more after 60 days. These symptoms include ongoing shortness of breath and fatigue, which can make daily life very challenging.

study published in Radiology found 66 of 70 hospitalized COVID-19 patients had some amount of lung damage in CT scans, and more than half had the kind of lesions that are likely to develop into scars.

“We need people to understand that this virus isn’t just like the flu or that full recovery or death are the only outcomes,” said Dr. Jeff Pothof, the chief quality officer at UW Health. “People experience COVID-19 in many ways. People can see serious, lasting effects from COVID-19 which is another reason why we want the public to physically distance and wear masks. You do not want to get this disease because you do not know how it will affect you.”

COVID-19 is still a very new virus and we are learning more about it all the time. As these studies continue to come out, our knowledge evolves, and health professionals continue to observe new or lasting symptoms and effects of COVID-19.

Additional COVID-19 coverage can be found at WXOW's COVID-19 page.

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