Number shows ‘significant’ Covid problem

The largest study of Covid-19 recovery in Australia also found young people, men and those without comorbidities (two or more diseases or medical conditions) generally recovered faster.NSW Health late on Thursday released the findings from the study, which tracked close to 3000 people diagnosed with Covid-19 between January and May 2020.Academics from the health department and UNSW determined 93.4 per cent of people recovered, and 80 per cent of those had recovered within 30 days.Some 1.8 per cent died, and 4.8 per cent were still experiencing symptoms.Most of those who said they hadn’t recovered months later were mainly still experiencing cough and fatigue. “We know a lot about acute clinical presentations where people end up in hospital but much less about those who get less severe forms of the disease,” UNSW Associate Professor Bette Liu said.She said the study suggested the need to consider not only hospitalisations and deaths but also the long-term health impact of Covid, particularly those with less severe forms of the disease.“This study indicates that prolonged recovery from Covid-19 looks to be a significant problem for many Australians,” Dr Liu said.“It is well known that Covid-19 severity increases with age and with the prevalence of other illnesses or underlying health conditions, so it’s unsurprising that we found recovery was slower and less likely in these groups.”However, 2 per cent of people younger than 30 were still experiencing symptoms three months after being diagnosed, she said.“This study demonstrates how important it is that we all protect ourselves from Covid-19 through following public health advice, including hand hygiene, physical distancing and testing, as well as getting vaccinated when it is your turn,” Dr Liu explained.NSW Health confirmed 11 new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, taking the latest outbreak to 49 local virus cases since the limousine driver who transported aircrews between their hotel quarantine accommodation and Sydney airport returned a positive result.Some 36 of those are directly linked to the Bondi cluster.Meanwhile, thousands of residents in a rural NSW town have been put on alert after Covid was detected in the sewage.Fragments of the virus were found in the treatment plan at Bourke in the state’s west and some 750km from Sydney.

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