Observational study: prospective longitudinal cohort
In this research letter recently published in JAMA, the authors assessed persistent symptoms in patients who had been discharged from hospital after recovery from COVID-19.
All patients who met World Health Organisation criteria for discontinuation of quarantine were followed up. At enrolment in the study, real-time reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction for SARS-CoV-2 was performed and only patients with a negative test result were included. Patients were offered a comprehensive medical assessment with detailed history and physical examination. From April 21 to May 29, 2020, 143 patients were included in the study. The mean age was 56.5 (SD, 14.6) years (range, 19-84 years), and 53 (37%) were women. Patients were assessed for a mean of 60.3 (SD, 13.6) days after onset of the first COVID-19 symptom; at the time of the evaluation, only 18 (12.6%) were completely free of any COVID- 19–related symptom, while 32% had 1 or 2 symptoms and 55% had 3 or more. None of the patients had fever or any signs or symptoms of acute illness. Worse quality of life was reported by 44.1% of patients. A high proportion of individuals reported fatigue, dyspnoea, joint pain and chest pain.