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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 235-240

The frequency of persistent symptoms after acute COVID-19 among Iraqi patients

1 Surgical Specialty Hospital, Department of Cardiology—Cardiac Center, Erbil, Iraq
2 Batas Primary Health Care Center, Directorate of Shaqlawa, Ministry of Health, Erbil, Iraq
3 Surgical Specialty Hospital, Department of Cardiology—Cardiac Center, Erbil, Iraq; College of Medicine, Hawler Medical University, Erbil, Iraq; School of Medicine, University of Kurdistan Hawler, Erbil, Iraq
4 College of Medicine, Hawler Medical University, Erbil, Iraq
5 Erbil Teaching Hospital, Department of Medicine, Erbil, Iraq

Correspondence Address:
Banan Q Rasool
Batas Primary Health Care Center, Directorate of Shaqlawa, Ministry of Health, Erbil.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/MJBL.MJBL_25_21

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Background: Post–coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms tend to persist in many survivors of COVID-19. Objectives: To find out the prevalence of persistent symptoms that continue to appear after the eradication of the COVID-19 infection among Iraqi survivors. We hypothesized that wearing a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic may lead to a lesser viral load in an individual who gets infected, thereby leading to milder symptoms and manifestations. Materials and Methods: Overall, 70 consecutive Iraqi patients diagnosed with COVID-19 during the period from early August to late September 2020 were enrolled in the study, and on a mean of 31 days after recovery, they were assessed for persistent symptoms after the acute COVID-19 infection. Results: The mean age ± SD was 40.5 ± 16.1 years old. On a mean of 31 days post-COVID-19 recovery, 91.4% of all the patients had at least one persistent symptom. The most common persistent symptoms recorded were fatigue (42.9%), dyspnea (32.8%), and chest pain (25.7%). There was a statistically significant difference (P = 0.002) among patients with hypertension, among whom 45.5% had persistent palpitation. Among patients with ischemic heart disease, 25% had constant chest pain, and 37.5% complained of palpitation post-recovery. Patients who had used masks before infection (85.4%) were managed at home, and they did not require hospitalization. Overall, 45.7% of those dyspneic during the infection period were still complaining of exertional dyspnea post-recovery (P = 0.041). Conclusion: A large proportion of the Iraqi patients with COVID-19 infection had persistent symptoms after recovery. The use of a mask before infection showed mild symptoms during the acute phase, and hospitalization or oxygen therapy was not indicated for them.

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