Fatigue is most common side effect of long Covid and it could last months

Medics in PPE treat a Covid patient at the Wuhan Red Cross Hospital in Wuhan in January 2020 (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

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Coronavirus symptoms, including organ malfunctions and depression, could plague sufferers for months after initial infection, according to a new study from China.

Sixty-three per cent of the 1,733 patients admitted to Wuhan's Jin Yin-tan Hospital at the start of the pandemic in January 2020 were still suffering from fatigue in May.

A further 26 per cent still had sleeping problems and a third of patients showed signs of kidney problems, including a build-up of bodily waste in the blood.

Dr Cao Bin, of the China Japan-Friendship Hospital in Beijing, said the findings highlight "a need for post-discharge care".

Passengers at Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan in March last year
(Image: Getty Images)

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The study also highlights the low levels of antibodies in some of the participants, meaning a sufferers' immune system may only be able to fight offer reinfection for a short time.

Writing in the medical journal  The Lancet, the doctor said: "Longer follow-up studies in a larger population are necessary to understand the full spectrum of health consequences from Covid-19."

He added: "Our analysis indicates that most patients continue to live with at least some of the effects of the virus after leaving the hospital, and highlights a need for post-discharge care."

A doctor wearing a facemask looking at a lung CT image from a patient at a hospital in Wuhan
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

In relation to antibodies, he said: "The risk of reinfection should be monitored."

Further research by Dr Cao revealed that almost a quarter of the participants also suffered depression and anxiety nearly half a year after first being admitted to the hospital for treatment.

It comes amid claims the number of people who have been infected with Covid-19 in Wuhan – the original epicentre which saw huge public gatherings and parties for New Year's Eve – could be around three times the official figure.

That's according to a study by researchers based in the city.

With the Wuhan total population at more than 10 million, the researchers estimated that as many as 168,000 Wuhan residents were infected with the virus, compared to the official number of 50,340 hospitalised cases.

It's believed that around two-thirds of the total number were asymptomatic.

Coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan at the end of 2019, with the first outbreak of the virus linked to a seafood market in the capital city.

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