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Most ‘prolonged COVID’ symptoms after a mild case of the virus disappear in about a year: new study

Most ‘prolonged COVID’ symptoms after a mild case of the virus disappear in about a year: new study

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Most people with “long COVID” after a mild case of the COVID-19 virus for their symptoms to disappear after a year, according to a new study from Israel.

“Prolonged COVID” is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as the long-term effects of a COVID infection, according to the agency’s website.

The study, published Jan. 11, 2023 in The BMJ, a peer-reviewed medical trade journal, examined 1,913,234 patient records from the Israeli HMO Maccabi Healthcare Services.

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The nearly 2 million patients all were tested for COVID-19 between March 2020 and October 2021.

About 300,000 of those patients tested positive for the coronavirus. The researchers then compared these patients to similar patients who did not test positive for the virus.

A member of the Salt Lake County Health Department’s COVID-19 testing staff performs a nasal swab test on a patient outside the Salt Lake County Health Department on Jan. 4, 2022, in Salt Lake City.
(Associated Press/Rick Baumer)

The study authors created a list of 70 “long COVID” symptoms and looked at patient records to see if these symptoms persisted after a coronavirus diagnosis.

Anyone who has been hospitalized for COVID-19 were excluded from the study because they were not considered to have a “mild” case of the virus.

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“We wanted to really understand what the long-term effects of this infection are on the larger population and whether we should expect a significant burden on healthcare providers,” senior author Maytal Biwas-Benita and lead author Barak Mizrahi said in a joint email to the site for health news STAT.

The results of the study were unexpected, Biwas-Benita and Mizrahi said.

“My real concern is that long-term COVID could develop with recurrent infection.”

“As we analyzed the data, we were surprised to find only few symptoms that were associated with COVID and remained one year post-infection, and the low number of people affected by them,” the authors told STAT.

Most people who had symptoms after COVID saw those symptoms clear up within a year, the recently published study said.

Most people who had symptoms after COVID saw those symptoms clear up within a year, the recently published study said.
(iStock)

The study found that those who had mild cases of COVID-19 had an increased risk of various health problems.

These problems include loss of smell and taste, difficulty with memory and concentration, difficulty breathing, weakness, strep throat and heartbeat.

Women in particular had a higher risk of hair loss, the study said.

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For most of these people, however, those symptoms disappeared within a year of getting sick with COVID-19, the study said.

Dr. Mark SealeFox News Medical Contributor, a clinical professor of medicine and practicing internist at NYU Langone Medical Center, told Fox News Digital he wasn’t too surprised by the study’s findings.

“I’m seeing a lot of ‘post-Covid’ and I’m looking at it – and I hope it goes away.”

“There’s a difference between ‘post-COVID’ and ‘long-COVID,'” Dr. Siegel said. “So this study just reinforces that [difference] – that most of the time the symptoms go away.”

“I’m seeing a lot of ‘post-Covid’ and watching it – and hoping it goes away. We don’t really have a good treatment for it,” he added.

The Israeli study examined nearly two million people in Israel who had been tested for COVID-19.

The Israeli study examined nearly two million people in Israel who had been tested for COVID-19.
(Getty Images)

The Israeli study’s findings contradict another study that found mild COVID symptoms correlated with prolonged COVID, Siegel said.

He “didn’t buy” the results of that study, Dr. Siegel said — and it wasn’t what he experienced.

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“The orthodox view on this is that severe COVID leads to long COVID,” he said.

Another problem, he explained, is that the coronavirus pandemic is “still evolving” and that more research must be done—and that the term “long COVID” still needs a universal definition.

For Siegel, “long-term COVID” is “any symptom that I can attribute to COVID that lasts more than six months.”

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What’s most worrisome, Siegel said, “is that repeated infection increases the risk of prolonged COVID. We’re now in the phase where that’s happening.”

He also said: “My real concern is that prolonged COVID could lead to recurrent infection.”


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