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OBJECTIVE: The study aimed to describe prevalence of and risk factors for Post COVID-19 Condition (PCC). METHODS: This was a prospective, longitudinal observational cohort study. Hospitalised and non-hospitalised adults were randomly selected to undergo telephone assessment at 1, 3 and 6 months. Participants were assessed using a standardised questionnaire for evaluation of symptoms and health-related quality of life. We used negative binomial regression models to determine factors associated with the presence of ≥1 symptoms at 6 months. RESULTS: 46.7% hospitalised and 18.5% non-hospitalised participants experienced ≥1 symptoms at 6 months (p=<0.001). Among hospitalised people living with HIV, 40.4% had persistent symptoms compared to 47.1% among HIV-uninfected participants (p=0.108). Risk factors for PCC included older age, female sex, non-black race, presence of a comorbidity, greater number of acute COVID-19 symptoms, hospitalisation/ COVID-19 severity and wave period (lower risk of persistent symptoms for Omicron compared to Beta wave). There were no associations between self-reported vaccination status with persistent symptoms. CONCLUSION: The study revealed a high prevalence of persistent symptoms among South African participants at 6 months although decreased risk for PCC among participants infected during the Omicron BA.1 wave. These findings have serious implications for countries with resource-constrained healthcare systems.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Infect Dis

Publication Date



Long COVID, Omicron, Post COVID-19 Condition, Risk factors, Variants