COVID-19 can result in prolonged illness even in people with mild symptoms, including young adults, according to a new analysis released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
It has been known that people severely ill after contracting COVID-19 can stay sick for several weeks. But less has been known about the effects of the disease on people with milder symptoms who don’t require hospitalization.
A CDC survey of nearly 300 people with the coronavirus found that 35 percent had not returned to their “usual state of health” two to three weeks after testing positive for the disease.
“These findings indicate that COVID-19 can result in prolonged illness even among persons with milder outpatient illness, including young adults,” the authors of the report wrote.
Of the 35 percent of people surveyed still experiencing symptoms, a quarter were aged 18 to 34, 32 percent were between the ages of 35 and 49 and 47 percent were 50 years and older.
Among patients who reported cough, fatigue or shortness of breath at the time of testing, 43 percent, 35 percent and 29 percent, respectively, continued to experience these symptoms when interviewed a couple of weeks later, according to the CDC.
Old age and the presence of multiple chronic health conditions were associated with prolonged illness, but young, healthy people could also still have symptoms weeks later, according to the report.