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Fake: Over 99 of COVID-19 Fully Recover

Yassin Osman Yassin Osman
17th January 2021
Fake: Over 99 of COVID-19 Fully Recover
62% of patients didn't fully recover(Getty).

The Claim

Over 99% of COVID-19 patients make a full recovery.

Emerging story

Social media users have taken to Twitter stating that the overwhelming majority of COVID-19 patients make a full recovery, particularly younger and healthier victims, discounting the need for vaccination.

Misbar’s Analysis

Multiple social media posts have claimed that COVID-19 patients go on to make a full recovery. In, July 2020, during the presidential debate, President Trump also made a false statement that 99% of patients recover. Although this has been refuted multiple times, it continues to be a general assumption that most patients recover, particularly younger, healthier patients, to their pre-COVID-19 state. It is true that recovery times vary, with some COVID-19 patients taking weeks, while others take months, to recover from symptoms, such as loss of smell and taste. 

However, multiple individual accounts of COVID-19 patients, who after a year, still have not fully recovered are also common, citing ongoing symptoms including brain fog, breathlessness, and fatigue. An Irish medical center’s study of COVID-19 patients revealed that, even months after contracting the disease, 62% of patients reported that they had not returned to ‘full health’, citing symptoms of fatigue, insomnia, shortness of breath, and impairment of cognitive abilities. Those with more severe, prolonged illnesses are more likely to suffer from more prolonged effects, but this does not exclude those with mild symptoms.

More so, a recent report by Texas surgeon Dr. Brittany Bankhead-Kendall, who has treated thousands of COVID-19 patients since the beginning of the pandemic, says “patients who've had COVID-19 symptoms show a severe chest x-ray every time, and those who were asymptomatic show a severe chest x-ray 70% to 80% of the time.” The chest x-rays reveal white lines indicative of “scarring and congestion”, comparing it to being as unhealthy as the lungs of a heavy smoker. This indicates that while you may have no or mild COVID-19 related symptoms, your lungs, amongst other organs, do not necessarily fully recover immediately, retaining “dense scarring”, leading to long-term health complications.

While COVID-19 is more associated with pulmonary symptoms, cardiac implications are just as important. Nearly a quarter of people hospitalized with COVID-19 develop injuries to the heart tissue. Depending on the severity and types of medical treatments, ample patients have experienced clotting and inflammatory phenomena in the lungs as well as the heart, and that this could reduce blood flow to those organs, said Dr. Thomas Gut, Associate Chair of Medicine at Staten Island University Hospital. Doctors recommend that anyone who experienced severe COVID-19 symptoms should have their heart checked before resuming exercise as this requires the heart to pump more blood. This can be as dangerous as exercising after heart issues related to COVID-19 can lead to irregular heartbeats or cardiac arrest.

Doctors have encouraged vaccination, citing that “no long-term effects of the vaccine will be worse than the long-term effects of COVID-19.” Given the findings from medical studies and doctors’ recounts, it is evident that the claim that ‘over 99% of COVID-19 patients have made a full recovery’ is unfounded. Although the risk is lower and health implications less severe, this is still applicable to those that are young, healthier, and asymptomatic as their internal organs are still negatively impacted by the disease. As such, the Misbar team finds the claim to be untrue.

Misbar’s Classification


Misbar’s Sources

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