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This review summarizes information available on post-acute COVID-19, which the authors define as manifestations of the viral illness extending beyond 3 weeks from the onset of initial symptoms. The authors illustrate a sparse but evolving understanding of post-acute COVID-19, noting a range of symptoms ranging from respiratory to mental health.
Key highlights include: about 10% of patients with COVID-19 demonstrate prolonged symptoms; why some patients experience ongoing symptoms is not clear, but certain factors may be predictive (persistent viremia, high inflammatory response, deconditioning, post-traumatic stress); and there are no data supporting specific therapies as of yet, although pulmonary rehabilitation is worth considering for some patients.
– Emmett A. Kistler, MD
This abstract is available on the publisher's site.
Post-acute covid-19 (“long covid”) seems to be a multisystem disease, sometimes occurring after a relatively mild acute illness. Clinical management requires a whole-patient perspective. This article, intended for primary care clinicians, relates to the patient who has a delayed recovery from an episode of covid-19 that was managed in the community or in a standard hospital ward. Broadly, such patients can be divided into those who may have serious sequelae (such as thromboembolic complications) and those with a non-specific clinical picture, often dominated by fatigue and breathlessness. The specialist rehabilitation needs of a third group, covid-19 patients whose acute illness required intensive care, have been covered elsewhere.