Surviving COVID-19 in Bergamo province: a post-acute outpatient re-evaluation

Epidemiol Infect. 2021 Jan 19:149:e32. doi: 10.1017/S0950268821000145.


Bergamo province was badly hit by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic. We organised a public-funded, multidisciplinary follow-up programme for COVID-19 patients discharged from the emergency department or from the inpatient wards of 'Papa Giovanni XXIII' Hospital, the largest public hospital in the area. As of 31 July, the first 767 patients had completed the first post-discharge multidisciplinary assessment. Patients entered our programme at a median time of 81 days after discharge. Among them, 51.4% still complained of symptoms, most commonly fatigue and exertional dyspnoea, and 30.5% were still experiencing post-traumatic psychological consequences. Impaired lung diffusion was found in 19%. Seventeen per cent had D-dimer values two times above the threshold for diagnosis of pulmonary embolism (two unexpected and clinically silent pulmonary thrombosis were discovered by investigating striking D-dimer elevation). Survivors of COVID-19 exhibit a complex array of symptoms, whose common underlying pathology, if any, has still to be elucidated: a multidisciplinary approach is fundamental, to address the different problems and to look for effective solutions.

Keywords: COVID-19; follow-up; long-COVID; post-acute; symptoms.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aftercare
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • COVID-19 / complications
  • COVID-19 / mortality*
  • COVID-19 / pathology*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Discharge
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Viral / blood
  • SARS-CoV-2*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Young Adult


  • RNA, Viral