Doctors warn of lasting COVID-19 effects

Published: Aug. 3, 2020 at 6:25 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A new study shows 87 percent of people hospitalized for coronavirus reported symptoms lingering for more than two months after they first felt sick.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found 55 percent of patients felt three or more symptoms past two-months, while 32 percent reported at least one lingering symptom. Only about 10 percent of patients felt fully recovered.

Doctors at UW Health say it’s hard to predict what any patient will experience.

“People have no way of knowing if they get it if they will have these long term effects, whether they have scarring in their lungs or inflammation of the heart so this disease you don’t want to get because we don’t know enough about it,” said Jeff Pothof, chief quality officer at UW Health.

Another new study found 66 of 70 patients hospitalized with coronavirus had some form of lung damage and more than half showed lesions doctors said would likely develop into scars, which would make breathing more difficult.

“We need people to understand that this virus isn’t just like the flu or that full recovery or death are the only outcomes,” said Pothof. “People experience COVID-19 in many ways. People can see serious, lasting effects from COVID-19 which is another reason why we want the public to physically distance and wear masks. You do not want to get this disease because you do not know how it will affect you.”

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