The CDC acknowledged on Friday that a significant number of COVID-19 patients do not recover quickly, and instead experience ongoing symptoms, such as fatigue and cough.
As many as a third of COVID-19 patients who were not sick enough to be hospitalized are still sick three weeks after their diagnosis, even among those with mild symptoms as well as young adults.
The CDC report is based on telephone surveys of 274 COVID-19 patients. Ninety-five of those patients, or 35 percent, said they “had not returned to their usual state of health” when they were surveyed, which was at least two to three weeks after their first test.
Many with long-term symptoms are otherwise young and healthy: Among those surveyed between ages 18 and 34, about 20 percent experienced lasting symptoms.
Among those with lasting symptoms, 71% reported fatigue, 61% had a lasting cough, and 61% had lasting headaches.
The report is welcome news to those who call themselves long-haulers, who suffer debilitating symptoms weeks and even months after their initial diagnosis.
Kate Porter, who is on day 129 of her recovery, has had low-grade fevers, fatigue, rapid heart beat, shortness of breath and memory and sleep issues since her diagnosis March 17.
Of patients who have tested positive for the flu, however, 90% of them have recovered within 2 weeks.
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