- Roughly one-third of adults with confirmed, mild COVID-19 report ongoing cough, fatigue, and shortness of breath >2-3 weeks after testing positive, even in the absence of underlying comorbidity.
Why this matters
- Young adults might need targeted prevention education, including about the prospect of prolonged self-quarantine and the benefits of social distancing, frequent hand washing, and face coverings.
- 270/292 respondents with data on return to health.
- 65% (175) reported a return to usual health after a median of 7 (interquartile range, 5-12) days from the date of testing.
- 35% (95) had not returned to their usual state 14-21 days posttesting:
- 26% ages 18-34 years,
- 32% ages 35-49 years, and
- 47% ages >50 years.
- Factors associated (aORs; 95% CIs) with not returning to usual health:
- Age >50 vs 18-34 years: 2.29 (1.14-4.58).
- Reporting >3 chronic conditions vs none: 2.29 (1.07-4.90).
- Obesity: 2.31 (1.21-4.42).
- Having a psychiatric condition: 2.32 (1.17-4.58).
- Symptoms least likely to be resolved: cough (43%; 71/166), fatigue (35%; 68/192), and shortness of breath (29%; 26/90).
- Multistate (US) telephone survey of reverse transcription-PCR-positive SARS-CoV-2 adults characterizing symptom duration, return to prior state of health.
- Funding: None disclosed.
- Respondent vs nonrespondent characteristics might have differed.
- Uncaptured symptoms data.
- Self-report bias.