New research finds that prolonged fatigue is common after COVID-19 infection

Exhaustion after COVID is independent of the severity of the initial infection.

More than half of people with acute COVID-19 according to a new study published in the open-access journal on November 9, 2020, persistent fatigue persists 10 weeks after their initial illness. PLOS ONE by Liam Townsend of Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and colleagues.

Fatigue is one of the most common complaints of people infected with EARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The long-term effects of COVID-19 have not been well studied and concerns have been raised that the virus has the potential to cause a post-viral fatigue syndrome.

In the new study, researchers detected fatigue, as well as the characteristics of patients, including COVID-19, laboratory markers, levels of inflammatory markers and pre-existing conditions, in 128 participants in the study previously infected with SARS-CoV-2. The participants, all recruited from an outpatient clinic to the COVID-19 in the St. James Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, was 54% female and averaged 49.5 years old (standard deviation ± 15 years). 55.5% of the participants were admitted to the hospital for their COVID-19 treatment, while the rest were treated as outpatients. They were assessed for the study for an average of 72 days after discharge from the hospital, or, if managed as an outpatient, after a period of 14 days after diagnosis.

Based on their score on the Chalder Fatigue Scale (CFQ-11), 52.3% (67/128) of the study participants met the criteria for fatigue at the assessment mark at least 6 weeks after COVID-19 infection. completed. Only 42.2% of patients (54/128) reported being back to full health. Importantly, there was no association between the severity of COVID-19, hospitalization, or routine laboratory markers of inflammation, with the likelihood that they would be persistently tired after infection. Although the study was limited in that the population cohort was predominantly white and Irish, and patients were only assessed at a single time without being followed up, the authors also found that female gender and a history of anxiety or depression were more common in the severe fatigue group (X2 = 9.95, p = 0.002 for female; X2 = 5.18, p = 0.02 for depression history).

The authors add: ‘This study highlights the burden of post-COVID fatigue. It also shows that exhaustion after COVID is not related to the severity of the initial infection. It is therefore not easy to predict its development. ”

Reference: “Persistent fatigue after SARS-CoV-2 infection is common and independent of the severity of initial infection” by Liam Townsend, Adam H. Dyer, Karen Jones, Jean Dunne, Aoife Mooney, Fiona Gaffney, Laura O’Connor, Deirdre Leavy, Kate O’Brien, Joanne Dowds, Jamie A. Sugrue, David Hopkins, Ignacio Martin-Loeches, Cliona Ni Cheallaigh, Parthiban Nadarajan, Anne Marie McLaughlin, Nollaig M. Bourke, Colm Bergin, Cliona O’Farrelly, Ciaran Bannan and Niall Conlon, November 9, 2020, PLOS ONE.
DOI: 10.1371 / joernaal.pone.0240784

Funding: LT has received the Irish Clinical Academic Training Program (ICAT), supported by the Wellcome Trust and the Health Research Council (Award Number 203930 / B / 16 / Z), the Health Services Manager, the National Medical Training and Planning Division and the Health and Social Division Care, Research and Development, Northern Ireland. NC is co-funded by a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) grant, Grant Code 20 / SPP / 3685. to publish or compile.

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