The findings were presented at the Conference for Coronavirus Diseases (ESCMID) and are from a study led by an infectious disease specialist Liam Townsend, from Saint James Hospital and the Hospital of Translational Medicine at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland: chronic fatigue may be one of the most frequent symptoms that persists as a sequel in patients who recovered from Covid-19. Even in cases where the disease was mild.
The study shows that more than half of the patients who recovered from Covid-19 have symptoms of chronic fatigue, which are independent of the severity of the case of infection with the new coronavirus. That is, even in cases where the severity of the disease was mild, the sequelae are verified. The causes are not fully known, but are believed to be related to disorders of the immune system.
The study included 128 participants with an average age in their 50s and an equal proportion of gender (female and male). All were evaluated for ten weeks after being discharged by Covid-19. More than half, 52.3% (67 of 128 patients) suffered from severe fatigue at that time. Of these, 55.5% had been admitted to the Saint James hospital, so their cases were more serious, but the rest, who also had symptoms of chronic fatigue, had no serious symptoms of Covid-19 and so was treated in House. “We realized that fatigue equally affected those who had been hospitalized and those who had not,” concludes Liam Towsend.
Cases of chronic fatigue, however, were more prevalent in women. “Our research shows that people who have suffered a SARS-CoV-2 infection have significant sequelae of chronic fatigue after recovering from Covid-19 disease”, underlines the doctor, advocating a non-pharmacological treatment for fatigue and the change in lifestyle, therapy or exercise after the recovery of Covid-19.
“There is concern about the potential for SARS-CoV-2 to cause chronic fatigue, including after the patient has recovered from Covid-19,” says the doctor in charge, stressing that he used a scale commonly used to determine fatigue levels in recovered patients, the Chalder Fatigue Scale (CFQ-11). “In our study, we investigated whether fatigue persisted after physical recovery, and whether a relationship could be established between extreme fatigue and a wide range of clinical parameters,” he said, quoted by El Espanhol.
The study authors compiled data on the severity of Covid-19 in the patient and the need or not for intensive care, as well as analyzing the existence or not of previous conditions that could be the source of fatigue, including depression. They then collected markers of immune system activation, such as white blood cell count in the blood or C-Reactive Protein (CRP), which is a sign of infection.