Prevalence and Predictors of Persistent Symptoms After Clearance of SARS-CoV-2 Infection: A Multicenter Study from Egypt

Infect Drug Resist. 2022 May 20:15:2575-2587. doi: 10.2147/IDR.S355064. eCollection 2022.


Background and aim: Little is known about the persistence of symptoms after clearance of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our study aimed to assess persistent symptoms in COVID-19 patients after clearance of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Methodology: A multi-center survey was conducted on first wave COVID-19 patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. Sociodemographic and clinical characteristics, including presenting symptoms and persistent symptoms after viral clearance and possible factors contributing to persistence of such symptoms, were collected using an online multicomponent questionnaire. Descriptive and inferential statistical analysis was performed to detect the most persisting symptoms and factors contributing to their persistence.

Results: Overall, 538 patients were enrolled. Mean age was 41.17 (±SD 14.84), 54.1% were males, and 18.6% were smokers. Hypertension and diabetes were the most reported co-morbidities. Mild symptoms were reported in 61.3% of patients, 51.3% were admitted to hospital and 6.5% were admitted to the intensive care unit. Our study identified 49 types of persisting symptoms. Fatigue (59.1%), sense of fever (46.5%), anorexia (24.3%) and diarrhea (24.3%) were the most commonly reported persisting symptoms followed by loss of taste and smell (22.3%), headache (21.4%), cough (20.8) and dyspnea (21%). The use of hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and multivitamins were significantly associated with persistence of symptoms (OR = 8.03, 8.89 and 10.12, respectively).

Conclusion: Our study revealed that in COVID-19 recovered patients, many patients reported persistence of at least one symptom, particularly fatigue and sense of fever. Follow-up of patients after discharge from hospital is recommended until complete resolution of symptoms.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus; dyspnea; fatigue.