The extent to which #COVID19 can cause sequelae is a critical question. A new study on Swiss military recruits found no effect on strength but a decrease in aerobic capacity in #COVID19 convalescents but not asymptomatics 1-2 months post-infection.
This is a fairly homogeneous cohort of ~200 18-27 year olds (~13% women). Conscription is mandatory for men in Switzerland, and this represents a fairly random sample of healthy young adults. It suggests that asymptomatic #COVID19 leads to no significant side-effects.
The statistically significant decrease in aerobic capacity in symptomatic #COVID19 patients is not straightforward to interpret. During military training, fitness is expected to increase, which, as expected, was observed in ~10% of the unaffected/asymptomatic recruits.
As such the decrease in aerobic capacity in the symptomatic group is likely a mix of genuine short- and possibly medium/long-term lung damage, but also a consequence of those ill with #COVID19 not getting as much physical exercise.
This may be the most reliable study on #COVID19 sequelae to date, insofar it has an acceptable control group and is based on non-subjective physical measurements. Though, it remains somewhat unsatisfactory. Better, larger and well-controlled studies are urgently needed.
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