A new review by Public Health Canada suggests that more than half of COVID-19 patients may have “post-COVID syndrome” for more than three months after testing positive.
The review looked at more than two dozen studies from around the world that asked confirmed COVID-19 patients to report at least one long-term symptom.
Preliminary results indicate that more than eight in 10 people had at least one long-term symptom four to 12 weeks after diagnosis, and more than half reported long-term symptoms after 12 weeks.
Fatigue, pain, shortness of breath and sleep disturbances were the most common problems, followed by anxiety, cough and hair loss.
Director of Public Health Dr Theresa Tam said in a statement that while most people fully recover from COVID-19 within weeks, what is known as “long COVID” can affect people of all age groups – no matter how sick they initially are.
The study points to some potential weaknesses in the data due to self-reporting of cases, bias in selecting patients involved in studies, and a lack of knowledge of pre-existing conditions that patients may have had before they contracted COVID-19.