Long COVID in the Faroe Islands: A Longitudinal Study Among Nonhospitalized Patients

Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Dec 6;73(11):e4058-e4063. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciaa1792.


Background: Little is known about long-term recovery from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) disease, especially in nonhospitalized individuals. In this longitudinal study we present symptoms registered during the acute phase as well as long COVID (ie, long-lasting COVID-19 symptoms) in patients from the Faroe Islands.

Methods: All consecutive patients with confirmed reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction testing from April to June 2020 were invited to participate in this study for the assessment of long COVID. Demographic and clinical characteristics and self-reported acute and persistent symptoms were assessed using a standardized detailed questionnaire administered at enrollment and at repeated phone interviews in the period 22 April to 16 August.

Results: Of the 180 participants (96.3% of the 187 eligible COVID-19 patients), 53.1% reported persistence of at least 1 symptom after a mean of 125 days after symptoms onset, 33.0% reported 1 or 2 symptoms, and 20.1% reported 3 or more symptoms. At the last follow-up, 46.9% were asymptomatic compared with 4.4% during the acute phase. The most prevalent persistent symptoms were fatigue, loss of smell and taste, and arthralgias.

Conclusions: Our results show that it might take months for symptoms to resolve, even among nonhospitalized persons with mild illness course in the acute phase. Continued monitoring for long COVID is needed.

Keywords: COVID-19; Faroe Islands; longitudinal study; persistent symptoms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / complications
  • Fatigue
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome
  • SARS-CoV-2