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‘Long Covid’: Japanese report suggests symptoms persist in a quarter of patients

People cross a street while a Shinkansen leaves the city in Tokyo's Shimbashi area on October 1, 2021. (AFP)
People cross a street while a Shinkansen leaves the city in Tokyo's Shimbashi area on October 1, 2021. (AFP)
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13 Oct 2021 08:10:58 GMT9
13 Oct 2021 08:10:58 GMT9

Arab News Japan

TOKYO: A group of Japanese doctors have published a report on so-called Long Covid which suggests that around a quarter of those who have had a mild form of COVID-19 had at least one prolonged symptom for more than six months.

The report – “Risk factors associated with development and persistence of long COVID” – showed that women were found to be particularly at risk for development of fatigue, hair loss and changes in taste and smell. Younger age and those with a low BMI were also found to be at risk of developing a lack of taste or smell.

The researchers analyzed 457 of 526 responses with an average of 47 years. The number of patients with symptoms after 6 and 12 months after onset or diagnosis totaled 120 and 40,respectively. 

“Chronic fatigue was the most frequently reported symptom following recovery from acute COVID-19 however, its cause, pathogenesis, and reason why women are more affected than men is unclear,” the report stated.

One significant finding was the efficacy of antiviral medicine, with the report stating, “There was little effect of antiviral medication or steroids on long COVID symptoms, except for dysosmia (change in ability to smell).”

However, the researchers could conclude that “vaccination compared to no vaccination was associated with reduced odds of long-duration symptoms related to COVID-19. This implies that two doses of vaccination may shorten the duration of a long COVID. Thus, vaccination would be effective in preventing long COVID as well as, protecting oneself from the virus, and decreasing mortality.”

The research was carried out through a survey of patients who had recovered from COVID-19, most of whom had a mild form of the disease. It was funded by the Emerging/Re-emerging Infectious Diseases Project of Japan, from the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED).

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