Study shows 4 in 10 COVID-19 survivors now suffer from new disability

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The mystery behind COVID-19 long-haulers still remains.

But according to a report published in the latest issue of Critical Care, researchers uncovered emerging evidence about what’s happening to nearly 40% of people who’ve recovered from the virus.

Scientists at Monash University in Australia followed 212 COVID-19 patients who had cleared the virus between March and October 2020. All were considered critically ill at the time of infection.  

They found six months post-recovery, 4 out of 10 people developed one or more new disabilities.

One-third of the group reported a movement disorder, a decline in their ability to think clearly, or both. Others reported chronic physical pain and problems doing usual activities. About 20% reported anxiety and/or depression, and 10% were unemployed and blamed it on their new disability. 

In the paper, study authors say, “New disability was widespread across all areas of functioning. In survivors who reported new disability, most reported three or more ongoing symptoms at 6 months.”

Their observations, they add, suggest that the burden of new disability after COVID-19 represents an urgent public health problem.