The newly-published study, one of the longest and largest in record tracking of long-term Covid-19 (long Covid), counted 1,192 patients discharged from Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital between January 7 and May 29, 2020. patient.
The results showed that 55% of the patients who were infected with the new crown in the early stage still had at least one sequelae of the new crown after two years, which was slightly better than the proportion of patients who still had symptoms after 6 months of infection. 68% of patients were symptomatic.
Specifically, these early-infected patients had worse overall health than those without COVID-19, with some listing long-term symptoms including pain, fatigue, sleep problems and mental health issues, with 31% reporting fatigue or muscle weakness Symptoms, another 31% of patients reported difficulty sleeping; in addition, patients who received higher levels of respiratory support during hospitalization experienced more lung problems than others.
These assessments were based on the subjective descriptions of the patients on the one hand, but were also assessed using more objective medical tests, including lung function tests, CT scans, and six-minute walk tests. However, the limitations of the study are also obvious, such as the lack of non-COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a control group, so it is difficult to explain that these long-term effects are specific to new coronary pneumonia.
Some experts believe that it is necessary to study the long-term symptoms of early infected people in Wuhan, because the symptoms of the patients at that time were generally severe, and after this round of Omicron variant infection, most of the patients had no symptoms or mild symptoms. The results of the study cannot be directly extrapolated to the prognosis of people infected with Omicron.
In this regard, the co-author of the study, Professor Cao Bin of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, told the First Financial Reporter: “This is a very good question. We have not yet summarized the clinical characteristics and long-term prognosis of Omicron.”
Cao Bin hopes that the study will encourage doctors to pay attention to the follow-up problems of new crown patients, even years after their initial infection. “It is clear that it is necessary to provide continuous support for a large proportion of people infected with the new crown, and to understand how vaccines, emerging therapies and new crown variants affect long-term prognosis.” Cao Bin said.
An expert from a hospital in Wuhan told the First Financial Reporter: “From the early Wuhan original virus strain, the virulence is relatively strong. The autopsy results show that the virus not only invades the lungs, but also invades other organs; CT imaging results show that many Patients develop pulmonary fibrosis and damage the vascular endothelium, especially in patients with underlying diseases, and recovery takes a long time.”
The above-mentioned experts also stated that after infection with the Omicron variant, even in severe patients, the number of patients with severe lung infection will be significantly less than the new coronary pneumonia in the early stage of the Wuhan epidemic, and most of the patients’ severe illness is caused by the underlying disease. , not caused by COVID-19.
“I think there are two reasons. One is that the virulence of the virus may indeed be weakened, and the other is that many people have been vaccinated. Vaccination does have a significant effect on reducing the severe rate.” The Wuhan expert told the first Financial reporter.
He also said that it is necessary to continue to track the early-stage new crown infections in Wuhan, such as extending the observation period to 5 years, to see the recovery of long-term symptoms of patients after 5 years. In addition, future research could also include the status of patients’ vaccinations to answer questions such as whether patients’ symptoms will be less severe after vaccination, and whether long-term symptoms will occur less frequently.