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Yes, at least 30% of COVID-19 patients suffer from 'Long COVID'

Several studies show symptoms from COVID-19 can linger beyond infections.

WASHINGTON — Almost two years in and we are still learning about the effects of COVID-19 infections, including how many people suffer from Long COVID–when symptoms of the disease linger long past infection.

A viral tweet about Long COVID grabbed tens of thousands of likes and retweets.

The post claimed: “Up to 30% of people who get COVID suffer from Long COVID.”

THE QUESTION

 Do 30% of people who get COVID-19 suffer from Long COVID?

OUR SOURCES

THE ANSWER

There is no clear number as research as research is still ongoing, but most studies say that AT LEAST 30% of people who get COVID-19 will suffer from Long COVID.

WHAT WE FOUND

The author of the tweet sourced that 30% stat to a peer-reviewed February 2021 study. It was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study included 234 people with COVID and found that 30% had persistent symptoms 6 months later.

While the sample size is small, our experts said the study is reputable.

Dr. Lau said overall 30% is a good estimate and Dr. Vanichkachorn said about 33%.

However, remember that paper was published back in February and the actual research was conducted between August and November of 2020, over a year ago.

Since then, more studies have come out. In fact, a Mayo Clinic spokesperson sent us two and called the findings, “more ominous.”

A November 2021 study of 200 people hospitalized for COVID-19, found that about 40% still reported at least one symptom a year later. 

In October 2021 researchers analyzed 57 international studies and found that 54% of patients still reported at least one symptom after 6 or more months.

So, studies continue to learn more about Long COVID which makes it hard to give an exact estimate. But experts say yes, at least 30% of COVID patients may suffer from Long COVID.

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