The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a definition of the so-called “long covid”, seen in some patients who have had coronavirus infection and “recovered” from COVID-19 but still struggle with numerous postovid diseases. According to specialists, this problem is more common in people who required hospitalization, but it also affects those who experienced the disease mildly. It is usually manifested by fatigue, shortness of breath and cognitive impairment. Experts note, however, that not everything is known yet and the definition that is currently being developed may change.
Doctors have been aware of the presence of long-term pocovid complications in some patients for a long time. The guidelines for its medical services were developed already in September by the NHS – the equivalent of the Polish National Health Fund. Dozens or even hundreds of symptoms have been identified in research and experiments.
“Long covid” – WHO definition. What is long covid, what symptoms, who is it, how long it lasts
Currently, its own definition has been prepared by the World Health Organization (WHO). According to her, we speak of “long covid” when at least one ailment is revealed within three months of the detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection or the suspicion of this infection. It must last for at least two months and cannot be explained by any other disease. Symptoms may appear during the acute form of COVID-19 disease, and then persist, but also make themselves felt for the first time after recovery.
“Long covid” is most often manifested by fatigue, shortness of breath and cognitive impairment. However, there may also be chest pain, changes in taste and smell, muscle weakness and palpitations. It is noted that this disease frequently impedes daily functioning.
However, experts from WHO make a reservation that the definition was developed on the basis of previous observations and may still change.
“Long covid”. Research of scientists
A large study by University College London (UCL) identified 200 symptoms affecting 10 organs or organ systems. According to research, 270,000 patients conducted by Oxford University specialists37 percent of COVID-19 sufferers experience at least one symptom. This is more common in those patients who required hospitalization due to their severe course of the disease. Long covid, however, can also occur in those who have had the disease more mildly. According to Harvard University researchers who followed 50,000 patients, it is more common in younger and middle-aged people under 65 years of age.
Lung problems are a common problem after catching COVID-19. According to a Chinese study, the results of which were published by The Lancet, 12 months after leaving the hospital, 20-30 percent of patients with moderate disease and 54 percent of those who have been critically ill suffer from it.
In covid people, chronic diseases such as diabetes and neurological disorders are more often detected for the first time. This is indicated by the observations of specialists from Harvard.
Most of the symptoms of long covid disappear after some time, no matter how severe the infection was. World Health Organization experts warn, however, that in some people some ailments reappear.
According to preliminary studies, pocovidic symptoms may be alleviated by the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. The American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), however, make a reservation that longer observations are necessary in this matter.
Main photo source: Jakub Orzechowski / Agencja Gazeta