More than 1/3 of COVID sufferers could see symptoms 3-6 months later

Coronavirus

DENVER (KDVR) — More than a third of people who get COVID-19 could see persisting or recurring symptoms three to six months after their diagnosis, according to a new study on long-haul COVID.

The study, published Tuesday in the journal PLOS Medicine, shows about 36% of people studied reported COVID-like symptoms in that timeframe. That’s a higher percentage than reported in previous studies.

“It’s terribly concerning,” said Dr. Rebecca Keith, director of the Post-COVID Pulmonary Center at National Jewish Health. “I mean, COVID is going to have a long-lasting impact I think well into our future. I do think that people who present to our clinics after COVID and potentially enroll in trials, that probably is under-representing the population in general that may have some ongoing symptoms after COVID.”

The study showed COVID patients experienced a wide array of persisting symptoms like abnormal breathing, fatigue, headache, anxiety and depression.

Keith said their post-COVID clinics see about 40 patients per week. She said studies like this help inform providers trying to treat the condition.

“In the beginning, many people and providers didn’t believe patients, and that’s a really difficult place for patients to be in,” Keith said.

Ty Godwin has been fighting long-haul COVID for at least 18 months. His symptoms started in early 2020 when the novel coronavirus was first making headlines.

“It started out as cold and flu, but I was training for a half-marathon in March and I’ve got really good lungs, but all of a sudden I’m like, I can’t breathe,” Godwin said.

His symptoms have escalated to brain fog, chest spasms and burning. He’s also fighting depression and anxiety.

“You think of going from: I had a great career in technology sales, running marathons, doing triathlons, and that all went away. You can imagine the stress it places on a spouse, on a family and the financial piece,” Godwin said.

Godwin has sought various treatment options locally and even through the Mayo Clinic. Despite setbacks, he’s committed to improving his quality of life.

“I’m not content that this is the rest of my life,” Godwin said.

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