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Symptom Duration and Risk Factors for Delayed Return to Usual Health Among Outpatients with COVID-19

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https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6930e1.htm?s_cid=mm6930e1_w

Symptom Duration and Risk Factors for Delayed Return to Usual Health Among Outpatients with COVID-19 in a Multistate Health Care Systems Network — United States, March–June 2020

Early Release / July 24, 2020 / 69

Mark W. Tenforde, MD, PhD1;

During April 15–June 25, 2020, telephone interviews were conducted with a random sample of adults aged ≥18 years who had a first positive reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, at an outpatient visit at one of 14 U.S. academic health care systems in 13 states. Interviews were conducted 14–21 days after the test date.

Respondents were asked about demographic characteristics, baseline chronic medical conditions, symptoms present at the time of testing, whether those symptoms had resolved by the interview date, and whether they had returned to their usual state of health at the time of interview.

Among 292 respondents, 94% (274) reported experiencing one or more symptoms at the time of testing; 35% of these symptomatic respondents reported not having returned to their usual state of health by the date of the interview (median = 16 days from testing date), including 26% among those aged 18–34 years, 32% among those aged 35–49 years, and 47% among those aged ≥50 years.
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Not returning to usual health within 2–3 weeks of testing was reported by approximately one third of respondents. Even among young adults aged 18–34 years with no chronic medical conditions, nearly one in five reported that they had not returned to their usual state of health 14–21 days after testing. In contrast, over 90% of outpatients with influenza recover within approximately 2 weeks of having a positive test result