COVID-19 patients, who do not require hospital admission, have a low risk of serious long-term effects, but they report more visits to general practitioners post-recovery, according to a recent study published in the medical journal The Lancet.

The population-based cohort study says, “The absolute risk of severe post-acute complications after SARS-CoV-2 infection not requiring hospital admission is low. However, increases in visits to general practitioners and outpatient hospital visits could indicate COVID-19 sequelae.”

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Researchers examined prescription, patient, and health insurance registries of 10,498 eligible individuals, who tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Denmark from February 27 to May 31, 2020.

8983 (85·6%) of these patients were alive and not hospitalised two weeks after their positive test. Their results were then compared to 80,894 individuals, who tested negative for the virus.

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The study found that COVID recovered patients were at an increased risk of receiving hospital diagnoses of dyspnoea (difficulty in breathing) and venous thromboembolism (blood clots in deep veins).

Hence, they were not admitted to hospitals during the COVID infection, but post recovery, their overall general practitioner visits and outpatient hospital visits increased.