Loss of taste and smell post-covid
Loss of taste and smell post-covid iStock

Most of those who reported post-COVID-19 symptoms continue to report that they are suffering the same symptoms a year and a half after the recovered from the virus, a new research shows.

The study, conducted by Maccabi Healthcare Services, was reported on by Kan Bet on Monday morning.

According to the data, over 50% of those who reported fatigue after contracting coronavirus were still fatigued 1.5 years later. Among those who reported three or more post-coronavirus symptoms, approximately 65% were still reporting the same symptoms 1.5 years later.

It is worth noting that those who contracted COVID-19 over 1.5 years ago contracted it no later than December 2020; since the study was likely not published the moment the data was collected, these subjects almost certainly contracted virus earlier than that, during the first wave of the virus. For the record, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the first Israeli to receive the vaccine, received his first dose on December 19, 2020. Thus, all of the subjects in this study were, categorically, unvaccinated at the time they contracted COVID-19.

Dr. Dan Oieru, chief family doctor for the Central District at Maccabi Healthcare Services and one of the authors of the study, said that the results surprised the researchers, since the assumption had been that recovery from COVID-19 would be quicker than that.

However, data collected thus far from Israel and around the world shows that 5-10% of adults who recovered from coronavirus are liable to develop post-COVID-19 symptoms. It is estimated that approximately half of Israel's population contracted coronavirus, and thus, the number of those suffering long-COVID may reach around 460,000 people in Israel alone.

A study conducted by Leumit Health Care Services showed that out of 80,000 who recovered from coronavirus, approximately 14% suffered from at least one symptom for at least 12 or more weeks after recovery. The most common of these symptoms was difficulty with concentration or memory, muscle aches, loss of taste and smell, and headaches.