Scientific Reports; Melissa D. Pinto, Charles A. Downs, Yong Huang, Sarah A. El-Azab, Nathan S. Ramrakhiani, Anthony Barisano, Lu Yu, Kaitlyn Taylor, Alvaro Esperanca, Heather L. Abrahim, Thomas Hughes, Maria Giraldo Herrera, Amir M. Rahmani, Nikil Dutt, Rana Chakraborty, Christian Mendiola, Natalie Lambert; Published September 23, 2022; DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-20214-7
Long-haul COVID-19, also called post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 (PASC), is a new illness caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection and characterized by the persistence of symptoms. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to identify a distinct and significant temporal pattern of PASC symptoms (symptom type and onset) among a nationwide sample of PASC survivors (n = 5652). The sample was randomly sorted into two independent samples for exploratory (EFA) and confirmatory factor analyses (CFA). Five factors emerged from the EFA: (1) cold and flu-like symptoms, (2) change in smell and/or taste, (3) dyspnea and chest pain, (4) cognitive and visual problems, and (5) cardiac symptoms. The CFA had excellent model fit (x2 = 513.721, df = 207, p < 0.01, TLI = 0.952, CFI = 0.964, RMSEA = 0.024). These findings demonstrate a novel symptom pattern for PASC. These findings can enable nurses in the identification of at-risk patients and facilitate early, systematic symptom management strategies for PASC.