Day by day symptoms following positive and negative PCR tests for SARS-CoV-2 in non-hospitalised health-care workers: a 90-day follow-up study

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  • Kent J Nielsen
  • Jesper Medom Vestergaard
  • Vivi Schlünssen
  • Jens Peter Bonde, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospital, 1Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark. 2Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark. 3University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark. 4Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark.
  • ,
  • Kathrine Agergård Kaspersen
  • Karin Biering
  • Ole Carstensen
  • Thomas Greve
  • Karoline Kærgaard Hansen
  • Annett Dalbøge, Danish Ramazzini Centre, Orthopaedic Research Unit, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus N, Denmark; Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Aarhus N, Denmark; Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus N, Denmark.
  • ,
  • Esben Meulengracht Flachs, 1Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark. 2Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark. 3University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark. 4Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark.
  • ,
  • Sanne Jespersen
  • Mette Lausten Hansen
  • Susan Mikkelsen
  • Marianne Kragh Thomsen
  • Jacob Dvinge Redder, Indepedent Business Intelligence Professional
  • ,
  • Else Toft Würtz, Danish Ramazzini Centre, Orthopaedic Research Unit, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus N, Denmark; Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Aarhus N, Denmark; Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus N, Denmark.
  • ,
  • Lars Østergaard, Orthopaedic Research Unit, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus N, Denmark; Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Aarhus N, Denmark; Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus N, Denmark.
  • ,
  • Christian Erikstrup
  • Henrik Albert Kolstad

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to compare symptoms day by day for non-hospitalised individuals tested positive and negative for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

METHODS: We followed 210 test-positive and 630 test-negative health-care workers of the Central Denmark Region up to 90 days after the test, April-June 2020. They daily reported COVID-19 related symptoms that were compared graphically and by logistic regression.

RESULTS: Thirty % of test-positive and close to zero of test-negative participants reported reduced sense of taste and smell during all 90 days (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 86.07, 95% CI 22.86-323). Dyspnoea was reported by an initial 20% of test-positive declining to 5% after 30 days without ever reaching the level of the test-negative participants (aOR 6.88, 95% CI 2.41-19.63). Cough, headache, sore throat, muscle pain, and fever were temporarily more prevalent among the test positive participants; after 30 days, no increases were seen. Women and older participants were more susceptible to COVID-19 symptoms.

CONCLUSION: Prevalence of long-lasting reduced sense of taste and smell is highly increased in mild COVID-19 patients. This pattern is also seen for dyspnoea at a low level but not for cough, sore throat, headache, muscle pain, or fever.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume108
Pages (from-to)382-390
ISSN1201-9712
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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