Long-haul symptoms affect majority of COVID-19 patients, UA study finds | Subscriber

Selfie by Claudia Gutierrez, at the Mayo Clinic wearing a P100 to avoid chemical smells like hand sanitizer, with husband, Jesus.

Claudia Gutierrez had recently married, bought a new home and was excited about this next stage in her life. 

Now she’s fighting daily to get back to the way she was before COVID-19.

Gutierrez, 28, started having symptoms in late December 2020, and tested positive Jan. 1. She was never really that sick: It was more like a bad cold, she says, and in no way as bad as the COVID long-haul symptoms she has now.

Terri Boitano, 62, was a swimmer and cyclist who most likely had asymptomatic COVID-19 in March 2020, not realizing anything was amiss with her health until early May that year. 

And Tara Elliott, 46, did have a bad cough and fever when she got sick early in the pandemic, but she thought that was the extent of it — until three months later. 

These Tucson women are examples of what University of Arizona health researchers found in a recent study on non-hospitalized COVID patients: The majority of individuals who experience mild or moderate COVID-19 infection also experience long COVID, or persistent sickness more than 30 days after they test positive.

”Wake-up call”

While other long-COVID research has typically focused on hospitalized patients with severe infections, this study published in early August looked at those who never had severe symptoms — or any symptoms at all.

Since May 2020, researchers followed over

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