Associate professor Bjørn Blomberg, professor Rebecca Cox and professor Nina Langeland. Courtesy of Ingrid O.L. Hagerup UiB
A paper published in the journal Nature Medicine on long-COVID, describes persistent symptoms six months after acute COVID-19, even in young home isolated people.
The study from the Bergen COVID-19 Research Group followed infected patients during the first pandemic wave in Bergen Norway.
"The main novel finding is that more than fifty per cent of young adults up to 30 years old, isolated at home, still have persistent symptoms six months after mild to moderate disease," explains professor Nina Langeland.
The most common symptoms were loss of smell and/or taste, fatigue, shortness of breath, impaired concentration, and memory problems.
"There was a significant correlation between high antibody levels and symptoms in home isolated patients, other risk factors for symptoms were asthma or other chronic lung disease," says professor Rebecca Cox, head of the Influenza Center at University of Bergen and Haukeland University Hospital and co-leader of the research group.
In non-hospitalized COVID-19-patients, thirty per cent experienced fatigue which was the most common symptom. Children under the age of 16 years had fewer long-term symptoms than adults, but associate professor Bjørn Blomberg, and first author of the article, emphasizes, "The cognitive symptoms of impaired memory and concentration difficulties are particularly worrying for young people at school or university and highlights the importance of vaccination to prevent the long-term health implications of COVID-19."