Follow-up of adults with noncritical COVID-19 two months after symptom onset

Clin Microbiol Infect. 2021 Feb;27(2):258-263. doi: 10.1016/j.cmi.2020.09.052. Epub 2020 Oct 5.


Objectives: To describe the clinical evolution and predictors of symptom persistence during 2 months' follow-up in adults with noncritical coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Methods: We performed descriptive clinical follow-up (day (D) 7, D30 and D60) of 150 patients with noncritical COVID-19 confirmed by real-time reverse transcriptase PCR at Tours University Hospital from 17 March to 3 June 2020, including demographic, clinical and laboratory data collected from the electronic medical records and by phone call. Persisting symptoms were defined by the presence at D30 or D60 of at least one of the following: weight loss ≥5%, severe dyspnoea or asthenia, chest pain, palpitations, anosmia/ageusia, headache, cutaneous signs, arthralgia, myalgia, digestive disorders, fever or sick leave.

Results: At D30, 68% (103/150) of patients had at least one symptom; and at D60, 66% (86/130) had symptoms, mainly anosmia/ageusia: 59% (89/150) at symptom onset, 28% (40/150) at D30 and 23% (29/130) at D60. Dyspnoea concerned 36.7% (55/150) patients at D30 and 30% (39/130) at D60. Half of the patients (74/150) at D30 and 40% (52/130) at D60 reported asthenia. Persistent symptoms at D60 were significantly associated with age 40 to 60 years old, hospital admission and abnormal auscultation at symptom onset. At D30, severe COVID-19 and/or dyspnoea at symptom onset were additional factors associated with persistent symptoms.

Conclusions: Up to 2 months after symptom onset, two thirds of adults with noncritical COVID-19 had complaints, mainly anosmia/ageusia, dyspnoea or asthenia. A prolonged medical follow-up of patients with COVID-19 seems essential, whatever the initial clinical presentation.

Keywords: Description; Follow-up; Mild COVID-19; Moderate COVID-19; Noncritical COVID-19; Outcomes; Persisting symptoms.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ageusia / epidemiology
  • Ageusia / etiology
  • Anosmia / epidemiology
  • Anosmia / etiology
  • Asthenia / epidemiology
  • Asthenia / etiology
  • COVID-19 / complications*
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • COVID-19 / pathology
  • Dyspnea / epidemiology
  • Dyspnea / etiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Symptom Assessment