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Debilitating ‘long-COVID’ may have severe health, social impacts: WHO

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LONDON (Reuters) – Thousands of COVID-19 sufferers proceed to endure critical, debilitating and lingering signs many months after their preliminary bout of an infection, with main social, health and financial penalties, European health specialists stated on Thursday.

Publishing a World Health Organization-led steerage report on the situation, sometimes called “long COVID” or “post-COVID syndrome”, specialists stated round one in 10 COVID-19 sufferers are nonetheless unwell 12 weeks after their acute an infection, and plenty of endure signs for a lot longer.

“This is a condition that can be extremely debilitating. Those suffering from it describe a varying combination of overlapping symptoms… (including) chest and muscle pain, fatigue, shortness of breath … brain fog (and) many others,” stated Martin McKee, a professor on the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies who led the report.

Hans Kluge, the WHO’s European regional director, stated long-COVID might have “severe social, economic, health and occupational consequences”.

“The burden is real and it is significant,” he stated.

He urged health authorities to hearken to sufferers’ issues, take them severely, and set up providers to assist them.

Growing proof from around the globe factors to many 1000’s of individuals experiencing long-COVID. The situation seems to not be linked as to whether a affected person had a severe or gentle an infection.

An preliminary report by Britain’s National Institute for Health Research final yr advised long-COVID may be not one situation, however a number of syndromes inflicting a rollercoaster of signs affecting the body and thoughts.

Kluge famous that as with every new illness, a lot stays unknown about COVID-19.

“We need to listen and … understand. The sufferers of post-COVID conditions need to be heard if we are to understand the long-term consequences and recovery from COVID-19,” he stated. “This is a clear priority for WHO (and) it should be for every health authority.”

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