More than one in five still have symptoms after two months

November 9th 2020

Analysis of the Big Corona Study shows that virus is now very close to many people 

The coronavirus is close to many people’s hearts: 65% of participants in the Big Corona Study know someone in their immediate environment who became seriously ill after being infected. Of those who contracted an infection two or more months ago, 22.4% are still experiencing symptoms. 

Tuesday saw wave 23 of the Big Corona Study. Just under 25,000 people took part. That is almost 2,000 more than in the previous questionnaire: the urgency of the corona situation, with the start of the second lockdown, is undoubtedly a factor. The large-scale questionnaire is an initiative of UAntwerp, in cooperation with UHasselt, KU Leuven and ULB. The Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) provides a financial boost. 

The scientists behind the questionnaire conducted an initial analysis of the enormous amount of data. Some interesting findings: 

  • The virus is getting much closer for many people during this second wave. Almost two-thirds (65%) of participants said they know someone in their immediate environment (family, friends, close colleagues) who became seriously ill with COVID-19, whereas this did not exceed 50% in the June-September period. The majority of people diagnosed with corona recovered at home. About one in six also know someone who has died of the disease.  

  • The willingness to get vaccinated is rising slightly again. People over 65 are still the most willing to get vaccinated. For younger people between 18 and 65 years of age, the scientists see slightly higher willingness to get vaccinated if the participants know someone who has been seriously ill.  

  • 812 participants in the Big Corona Study contracted a COVID-19 infection more than two months ago. 22.4% of these people are still experiencing symptoms after two months. General fatigue is the most common symptom. Other common symptoms include shortness of breath, muscle aches and difficulty concentrating.   

  • The measures that participants expect to have the greatest effect are compulsory working from home, extending the autumn holidays and abolishing the rule of four. At the same time, they find that the limited attendance at funerals, closing down restaurants and bars, closing down cultural venues and activities, abolishing the rule of four, and the ban on group sports are the hardest to endure. (plus grafiek).