1 in 3 COVID-19 outpatients suffer prolonged illness, CDC report says

A new report by the Centers for Disease Control states that nearly a third of COVID-19 patients who didn't require hospitalization still suffer prolonged symptoms weeks after diagnosis.

Around a third of 274 symptomatic outpatients interviewed said their health had not returned to normal within two to three weeks of being tested. That includes one in five young adults, around 18 to 34 years old, with no underlying health conditions who said their health had not returned to normal.

Seventy-one percent of COVID outpatients reported fatigue as a prolonged symptom, while 61% reported a cough, and another 61% reported headaches.

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In contrast, the CDC study noted that nearly 90% of flu outpatients recovered within two weeks of having a positive test result.

The study also stated that older age and underlying health conditions associated with COVID hospitalizations were also associated with prolonged illness in COVID-19 outpatients.

"The best thing that all of us can still continue to do is practice all the usual public health safety measures that have been recommended," said Dr. Prathit Arun Kulkarni, an assistant professor of medicine in infectious diseases at Baylor College of Medicine. "We don't know what the long-term symptoms might look like even for people with mild to moderate forms of the infection."

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