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More than half suffer ongoing fatigue after recovery from virus


Fatigue is a common symptom

Fatigue is a common symptom

Fatigue is a common symptom

More than half of patients who get coronavirus suffer persistent fatigue, regardless of the seriousness of their infection, Researchers at Trinity College Dublin have found.

The study found that 10 weeks after recovering from Covid-19, people reported ongoing tiredness and exhaustion.

Results of the study, led by Dr Liam Townsend, will be presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases' Conference on Coronavirus Disease (ECCVID).


It found that 10 weeks after clinical recovery from Covid-19, 52pc of the 128 people in the study reported ongoing fatigue.

The group were typically aged 50 and 54pc were female.

A commonly used scale was used to determine fatigue, while researchers also looked at the severity of the patient's initial infection, pre-existing health conditions and blood markers.

71 of the 128 patients had been admitted to hospital and 57 were not admitted, but ongoing fatigue levels were the same.

"Fatigue was found to occur independent of admission to hospital, affecting both groups equally," Dr Townsend said.

Although women represented just over half of the patients in the study, two-thirds of those with persistent fatigue (67pc) were women.

While only one person out of the 61 (1.6pc) without fatigue had a history of anxiety or depression, this increased to nine out of 67 (13.4pc) in those with persistent fatigue.

"Our findings demonstrate a significant burden of post-viral fatigue in individuals with previous Sars-CoV-2 infection after the acute phase of Covid-19 illness," the researchers said.

"This study highlights the importance of assessing those recovering from Covid-19 for symptoms of severe fatigue, irrespective of severity of initial illness, and may identify a group worthy of further study and early intervention.

"It also supports the use of non-pharmacological interventions for fatigue management.

"These interventions will need to be tailored to the individual needs of the patients, and may include lifestyle modification, cognitive behavioural therapy and self-pacing exercise, where tolerated."