One in 4 had COVID aftereffects 6 months later

A survey by a research group in Japan has showed that one in four coronavirus patients had symptoms considered to be aftereffects half a year after onset or diagnosis. It says women are at higher risk than men.

The survey by the National Center for Global Health and Medicine and others polled 457 people who had recovered from COVID-19 since February 2020. They were in their 20s to 70s.

The group says 26.3 percent of them had symptoms such as fatigue after six months had passed.

Some 7.7 percent of all those covered reported problems with the sense of smell, 6.6 percent felt fatigue and 3.9 percent suffered from shortness of breath. The figure was 3.5 percent for problems with the sense of taste and 3.1 percent for hair loss.

One year after onset or diagnosis, 8.8 percent still had some symptoms, with 3.1 percent complaining of fatigue and 1.5 percent of shortness of breath. Dysfunction of the sense of smell was reported by 1.1 percent and issues with the sense of taste and hair loss were reported by 0.4 percent each.

The survey also showed that compared with men, women had 1.9 times the risk of having problems with their sense of smell. The figure was 1.6 times for sense of taste dysfunction, twice for fatigue and three times for hair loss.

The researchers also found that younger, underweight people are more likely to have problems with the sense of taste or smell. They say those people tend to have long-term aftereffects even if their COVID-19 symptoms were mild.

One of the researchers who led the survey, Morioka Shinichiro, advises both women and men to try not to get infected as they may suffer from long-term aftereffects.

Morioka said getting vaccinated is important for young people as well because those who received two vaccine shots reportedly do not suffer long-term aftereffects.