..Discussion: Coronavirus disease 2019 can persist and result in prolonged illness. Our study shows persistence of symptoms in a third of ambulatory patients 30 to 45 days after diagnosis even if we assume that those lost to follow-up were all asymptomatic. Fatigue, dyspnea, and loss of taste or smell were the main persistent symptoms. These results are in line with a recent study of 274 participants that reported the persistence of symptoms 14 to 21 days after diagnosis (2).
Our study has several limitations, including missing data and ascertainment bias at each assessment interval. Baseline characteristics were similar overall between participants reached and not reached on day 30 to 45.
In conclusion, this study shows that patients with COVID-19 develop an array of symptoms that evolve over time. Recognizing the persistence of symptoms could legitimize patients’ concerns in an unknown and new disease. Adequate communication can provide reassurance, reduce anxiety, and potentially optimize recovery.