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Long Covid has become a matter of deep concern: World Health Organization

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The World Health Organization (WHO) urged people struggling with the after-effects of the Covid-19, despite having recovered from the acute phase, to seek medical help.

WHO 1 covid The North-Eastern Chronicle

The WHO expressed great concern on Wednesday about the unknown number of people who may still be infected with Long Covid, as the fact remains that Covid-19 has been diagnosed in about 200 million people.

Also read: Decoding the Covid-19 pandemic! Is it the virus or is it us?

Mysterious aspects of long covid

Covid

“This post-Covid syndrome, or Long Covid, is something that WHO is deeply concerned about,” Maria Van Kerkhove, the UN health agency’s Covid-19 technical lead, told a press conference. The WHO was “making sure that we have recognition of this because this is real.”

She said of those infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes Covid-19 disease, “many are suffering from long term effects”.

Understanding long covid more intensively

“We don’t know for how long these effects last and we’re even working on a case definition to better understand and describe what this post-Covid syndrome is,” said Van Kerkhove.

She said the WHO was working to have better rehabilitation programmes for Long Covid sufferers plus broader research to better understand the syndrome and how it can be managed.

Further examining and studying the symptoms*

The WHO held a series of seminars this year aimed at expanding understanding of post-Covid conditions, to hear not only from scientists and doctors but also directly from sufferers themselves.

Little is known about why some patients struggle to recover after an acute episode and continue to experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, excessive exhaustion, brain fog, and cardiac and neurological issues.

More than 200 reported symptoms

Janet Diaz, the clinical care lead in the WHO’s emergency programme, which leads the organisation’s Long Covid efforts, said there had been more than 200 reported symptoms, including chest pain, tingling and rashes; she told a WHO live social media session on Tuesday.

Types of recorded unwellness among patients with long covid

covid 19 illness covid The North-Eastern Chronicle

Diaz noted that some patients’ symptoms persisted after recovering from the acute phase; others improved and then relapsed, with conditions that came and went; still, others had symptoms that developed only after they had recovered from the acute period.

Only the first patients who recovered from Covid-19, which first appeared in China in December 2019, can be studied.

Some people appeared to experience post-Covid symptoms for three months, while others appeared to have symptoms for up to six months.

Long symptoms of covid not yet fully understood

According to the US expert, it is still unclear what caused the post-viral symptoms, with many ideas ranging from neurological issues to the immunological response to the illness to the virus remaining in some organs.

Van Kerkhove advises anyone suffering from long-term effects to kindly seek help.

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