Most Common Long COVID Physical Symptoms in Working Age Adults Who Experienced Mild COVID-19 Infection: A Scoping Review

Mass Kokolevich, Zoe, Crowe, Melissa, Mendez, Diana, Biros, Erik, and Reznik, Jacqueline Elise (2022) Most Common Long COVID Physical Symptoms in Working Age Adults Who Experienced Mild COVID-19 Infection: A Scoping Review. Healthcare, 10 (12). 2577.

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Background: One-third of patients who recover from COVID-19 present with long COVID. Their symptoms are broad, affecting their physical functioning and, ultimately, their quality of life. Many of those individuals who develop long COVID, possibly from a mild COVID-19 infection, are in the 18–65 age group. This prolongation of malaise directly influences national workforce economies. Objectives: To summarise the commonly reported physical symptoms of long COVID in order to inform potential adjustments in healthcare for the employable population.

Methods: The Embase, CINAHL, Medline, SCOPUS, and WHO COVID-19 databases were searched. The study selection process was based on the PRISMA guidelines. The extracted data were synthesised and presented narratively.

Results: 7403 studies were accessed, comprising 60 cohort studies and 10 case series/studies, representing 289,213 patients who met our criteria. The most frequently reported physical symptoms were fatigue (92%), shortness of breath (SOB) (81.8%), muscle pain (43.6%), and joint pain (34.5%).

Conclusions: The range of reported physical symptoms was broad and varied; the main ones being fatigue, breathlessness/SOB, and pain. Similarities observed between long COVID and other post-acute infection syndromes may help formulate protocols to manage and promote recovery for long COVID patients. Inconsistencies were evident, particularly with a lack of adherence to the standardised definitions of long COVID.

Item ID: 77552
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2227-9032
Keywords: adults, long COVID, mild COVID-19, physical symptoms
Copyright Information: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2023 07:34
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4202 Epidemiology > 420202 Disease surveillance @ 50%
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3207 Medical microbiology > 320705 Medical virology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2001 Clinical health > 200101 Diagnosis of human diseases and conditions @ 100%
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