Nearly Half of Covid Patients Haven’t Fully Recovered Months Later, Study Finds
A medical review of more than 6,300 Covid-19 patients in New York City and Spain found that more than half of those who tested positive, despite being told to self-quarantine, had not recovered after a median of 23 days.
Medical doctors on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic are fighting to save lives, but in the midst of it, the stakes are high for a large group of people who aren’t immune: those with underlying health conditions who become ill and may die from Covid-19 complications like pneumonia.
Researchers are hoping to learn ways to improve patient screening and treatment, and to reduce unnecessary suffering, to help keep people—including those with underlying health conditions—healthy and alive during the virus crisis.
But when a person’s health deteriorates after being told to self-quarantine, there are no clear rules in the U.S. about how to provide the treatment and support they need if they’re on the verge of death, said Marybeth DeWitt, a pulmonologist and assistant professor in the department of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College whose studies track the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on patients and health systems.
“What we’re seeing is really devastating,” said DeWitt, author of the New York Times Magazinearticle “From Coronavirus to Pandemic: How We Came to Understand Covid-19 and Can Still Save Thousands.”
“I still have patients who haven’t recovered after 23 days,” she told STAT. “There is limited data on how the virus has impacted people with underlying health conditions, which makes it hard to assess how to treat them effectively. I don’t think we have a lot of data to learn from.”