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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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).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.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.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.

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Authors: Kent J Nielsen, Jesper Medom Vestergaard, Vivi Schlünssen, Jens Peter Bonde, Kathrine Agergård Kaspersen, Karin Biering, Ole Carstensen, Thomas Greve, Karoline Kærgaard Hansen, Annett Dalbøge, Esben Meulengracht Flachs, Sanne Jespersen, Mette Lausten Hansen, Susan Mikkelsen, Marianne Kragh Thomsen, Jacob Dvinge Redder, Else Toft Würtz, Lars Østergaard, Christian Erikstrup, Henrik Albert Kolstad