More than half of former COVID-19 patients experienced symptoms even after testing negative

People take from several days to several weeks or even months to recover from COVID-19. Most people do recover and are able to return to their normal lives. However, do they feel normal again? Scientists at the University of Iceland and Landspítali University Hospital found that over half of those who were infected with COVID-19 say that their health is now worse than it was before.

Map, showing the spread of COVID-19 in Iceland in the height of the pandemic. Data is per 1000 inhabitants. Image credit: Bjarki S via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Scientists in Iceland sent a special survey to 900 respondents. It included questions about their health and wellbeing following COVID-19 sickness. All of the respondents had COVID-19 during the height of the outbreak in spring this year. This study showed that people experienced a wide range of symptoms of COVID-19. Most common of them were weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath, headaches and other pains and discomfort. These are quite normal COVID-19 symptoms. What scientists were surprised to find out is that around 60% of participants believe their health to be worse following the disease.

Symptoms were the same, although much milder, after these people finally tested negative for COVID-19. However, scientists say that this is enough data to assume that COVID-19 has a chronic impact on health after patients are no longer infected. People don’t feel too well and take time to recover even after getting the virus out of their systems. Helga Jónsdóttir, lead author of the paper, said: “The findings increase our knowledge of the incidence and development of symptoms during and after infection. They have been used to help develop healthcare services for those struggling with long-term post-viral complications.”

Small Nordic country of Iceland had over 2.8 thousand COVID-19 cases with 10 recorded fatalities. Iceland depends on tourism a lot due to its amazing nature, formed by active volcanoes and the ocean. This means that a complete lockdown had a tremendous impact on the country’s economy as well as people. Scientists say that medical staff managed to get a hold on the pandemic due to their solidarity and trust. Obviously, an extensive testing program was very helpful as well. Now, like many other countries in Europe, Iceland is facing the second COVID-19 wave. Although everyone is just waiting for now and encouraging people to use necessary protective measures, it is just a matter of time until a new lockdown regime is introduced.

People like downplaying the severity of COVID-19, because most people experience relatively mild symptoms and most people who died had other underlying health conditions or were just very old. However, you have to realize that avoiding this infection is going to be so much better for you. Especially now that you know that even after you test negative you will take time to regain your health.


Source: University of Iceland

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *