Most of the symptoms of ‘long COVID’ after a mild case of the virus disappear in about a year: new study
Most people with “long COVID” after a mild case the COVID-19 virus that their symptoms go away after a year, according to a new study conducted in Israel.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines “long-term COVID” 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 journal, examined 1,913,234 patient records from Israel’s HMO Maccabi Healthcare Services.
The almost 2 million patients all were tested for COVID-19 between March 2020 and October 2021.
About 300,000 of these patients tested positive for the coronavirus. The researchers then compared these patients with similar patients who did not test positive for the virus.
The authors of the study created a list of 70 symptoms of “long COVID” and reviewed patient records to see if these symptoms existed after the diagnosis of the coronavirus.
Anyone who was hospitalized due to COVID-19 was excluded from the study, as they were considered not to have a “mild” case of the virus.
“We wanted to really understand what the long-term effects of this infection are on the majority of the population and whether we should expect a significant burden on healthcare providers,” senior author Maytal Bivas-Benita and lead author Barak Mizrahi said in a joint email to the news site of to health STAT.
The results of the study were unexpected, Bivas-Benita and Mizrahi said.
“My real concern is that a long COVID could pass with a re-infection.”
“While analyzing the data, we were surprised to find only few symptoms that were associated with COVID and persisted one year after infection, and the low number of people affected by them,” the authors told STAT.
Those who had mild cases of COVID-19, the study found, had an increased risk of various health problems.
These problems include loss of smell and taste, difficulty with memory and concentration, difficulty breathing, weakness, sore throats and heart beating.
Women in particular had a higher risk of hair loss, the study says.
However, for most of these people, these symptoms disappeared within a year of having COVID-19, according to the study.
Dr. Mark SealFox News Medical Associate, a clinical professor of medicine and internist at NYU Langone Medical Center, told Fox News Digital he wasn’t overly surprised by the study’s findings.
“I’m seeing a lot of ‘post-Covid’ and looking at it — and hoping it goes away.”
“There is a difference between ‘post-Covid’ and ‘long-Covid,'” said Dr. Siegel. “So this study just confirms that [difference] — that most of the time the symptoms go away.”
“I see a lot of ‘post-COVID’ and look at it — and hope it goes away. We don’t have a very good treatment for it,” he added.
The Israeli study’s findings run counter to another study that claims mild symptoms of COVID are associated with long-lasting COVID, Siegel said.
He “didn’t buy” the results of that study, Dr. Siegel said — and that’s not what he experienced.
“The orthodoxy about this is that severe COVID leads to long COVID,” he said.
Another issue, he explained, is that the coronavirus pandemic is “still developing” and that more research needs to be done — and that the term “long COVID” still needs a universal definition.
For Siegel, “long COVID” is “any symptom that I can associate with COVID that lasts longer than six months.”
What’s most concerning, Siegel said, “is that recurrent infections increase the risk of long-term COVID. We’re now at a stage where that’s happening.”
He also said: “My real concern is that a long COVID could pass with re-infection.”