FHI study: Reports of late brain and respiratory problems among corona infected people

Corona testingPhoto: Mufid Majnun / Unsplash

People who have had COVID-19 report a higher incidence of brain and respiratory problems than people who have not had the disease, according to an FHI study.

The data show that people who have had COVID-19 experience an over-frequency of symptoms twelve months later than those who have not been diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 in the same period.

21% of those who had not had corona reported at least one new symptom in the last twelve months, while 56% of those who had had corona did the same. For example, 17.4% of infected people reported that they experienced fatigue, compared with 3.8% among non-infected people. About one in six infected people reported a change in their sense of taste or smell twelve months later, and 18.2% reported reduced memory.


The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) article has been published on medRxiv, a website for pre-published articles under the auspices of Health Sciences in the USA. It is mainly based on unvaccinated adults.

“Most were still unvaccinated when we collected this data, but so far, we have not looked at late-onset ailments in people who became infected after they had been vaccinated,” project manager and doctor Lill Trogstad at the FHI said.

The researchers identified two main groups of reported symptoms related to the respiratory tract and the brain and nervous system, respectively.

“The findings may indicate that this is about a number of different ailments that probably cannot accumulate under one syndrome because they behave quite differently in different people,” Trogstad said.

More common in women

The symptoms were more common in women than in men. They were also more common among those who had become very ill with corona than those who had had milder symptoms.

The researchers identified two main groups of symptoms. Some experienced symptoms related to the brain, for example, in the form of brain fog, poorer memory or dizziness, and in addition palpitations and fatigue. Others reported respiratory symptoms, such as coughing and shortness of breath.

Trogstad emphasized that the findings must be confirmed in other studies before one knows how representative they are.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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