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Persistent Fatigue Prevalent After COVID-19 Infection

More than half of those recovered from acute phase of COVID-19 experience postviral fatigue, independent of COVID-19 severity

a tired man in front of laptop

TUESDAY, Nov. 17, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For individuals who have recovered from the acute phase of COVID-19, postviral fatigue is prevalent and is not associated with COVID-19 severity, according to a study published online Nov. 9 in PLOS ONE.

Liam Townsend, M.B., B.Ch., from St. James's Hospital in Dublin, and colleagues used the Chalder Fatigue Score to examine the prevalence of fatigue in individuals who recovered from the acute phase of COVID-19 and explored potential predictors of fatigue following COVID-19 infection.

The researchers found that 67 of the 128 participants (52.3 percent) reported persistent fatigue at a median 10 weeks after initial COVID-19 symptoms. No correlation was seen between COVID-19 severity and fatigue after COVID-19. In addition, no association was seen between routine laboratory markers of inflammation and cell turnover or proinflammatory molecules and fatigue after COVID-19. Among those with fatigue, female gender and a preexisting diagnosis of depression/anxiety were overrepresented.

"A lengthy postinfection fatigue burden will impair quality of life and will have significant impact on individuals, employers, and health care systems. These important early observations highlight an emerging issue," the authors write. "These findings should be used to inform management strategies for convalescent patients and allow intervention to occur in a timely manner."

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