Shaare Zedek study: 94% of COVID-19 patients have no symptoms 3 months after recovery

New study by Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center shows encouraging long-term recovery data for COVID-19 patients.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Coronavirus ward at Shaare Zedek
Coronavirus ward at Shaare Zedek
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

With continued attention on the long-term effects of the coronavirus, research conducted at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center indicates that 95 percent of recovered COVID-19 patients showed no evidence of irreversible respiratory or cardiac damage after a period of three months and that the majority of symptoms had dissipated by six months.

Professor Gabriel Izbicki, Director of the Pulmonary Institute at Shaare Zedek who was responsible for the study said, “We can cautiously report that based on our study, the majority of symptoms passed within a period of three to six months.”

The study was based on data gathered from 166 patients between the ages of 19 and 86 who had recovered from coronavirus. The study did find that at the three month mark, 94 percent of patients were still reporting symptoms with the most prominent - shortness of breath - being found in 57 percent of the patients.

Professor Izbicki noted that the results were certainly encouraging, “Almost all the patients we studied after six months reported a marked improvement in their overall conditions and the test results reflected that. We found that regular fitness activities of three to four times a week were direct contributors to helping the patient recover that much more quickly.”

The data showed that at three months after recovery the most prevalent lasting symptoms were shortness of breath found in 65 percent of the more serious cases and 50 percent of more moderate cases. Fifty-five percent of patients reported overall weakness, 25 percent a sustained cough, 18 percent chest pain, 11 percent loss of taste and smell and 8 percent exhibiting neurological symptoms like dizziness or weakness in the limbs.

Professor Izbicki further noted that the research corroborated their assumptions that smoking was a complicating factor for COVID-19 patients, “Additional data proved what we already believed to be the fact, that smoking and the damage it causes to the lungs was directly related to complications from coronavirus.”

“In the patient data we reviewed, we saw that the percentage of serious cases was far higher among patients who smoked and the seriousness was linked to the number of cigarettes consumed per day. Twenty-three percent of the serious cases were among smokers whereas only eight percent of the lighter cases were shown to be smokers.

“The results of our study when combined with the available data about mortality and complications from this disease show that we need to continue to remain vigilant in abiding by social distancing and other relevant restrictions so that we can further reduce the infection rates. And of course we strongly recommend vaccination, ” Professor Izbicki added.

The patient groups studied were divided between those who had light to moderate cases and those who were serious to critical. All the patients studied underwent a series of tests including stress tests, chest x-rays and electrocardiograms. The study also asked the patients to complete a questionnaire describing their overall health and quality of life and ability to perform basic daily tasks alongside more extensive fitness activities.