Many struggle with long-term COVID-19 effects

New SSI study reveals that almost a third were still enduring at least one physical symptom 6-12 months after infection

Thanks to the world’s biggest survey of its kind, researchers from the State Serum Institute (SSI) have been able to map long-term COVID-19 effects in Denmark. 

The results, based on responses from over 600,000 people in Denmark, revealed that almost 30 percent have experienced at least one physical symptom of the illness 6-12 months after infection.

“A clear pattern has emerged that suggests that the epidemic has impacted the health of many people in Denmark – and for a long time after the infection is over,” said SSI professor and study head, Anders Hviid.

“Some will argue that the long-term effects reported in our report aren’t necessarily serious, but it is clear that many people in Denmark have experienced a deterioration of their health. That’s something we need to be aware of.”

READ ALSO: SSI counters overseas misinformation concerning Denmark’s COVID-19 numbers

Newer mutation expectations
The survey is based on data gathered before the dominant Delta and Omicron mutations took charge in Denmark and the researchers don’t expect to find the same results in relation to the milder infections seen today.

Among the most common long-term effects of COVID-19 were sense of taste and smell issues, as well as chronic fatigue. 

Sick leave frequencies were also higher among people who were infected. 

The study also revealed that women were more likely to experience long-term effects, as were those hospitalised by the virus. 

The researchers are working on gathering similar information relating to the long-term effects of infection with Omicron.