‘Constellation of symptoms’ of long Covid-19 worries WHO

Mumbai | Updated on February 13, 2021

The World Health Organization (WHO) stated on Friday that ‘long COVID’ is a heterogeneous group of symptoms that occur after the acute illness.

Dr Janet Diaz, Team Lead, Health Care Readiness at WHO, said in a statement, “So, these are symptoms or complications that can happen potentially a month after, three months after, or even six months after, and as we are learning more, we are trying to understand the real duration of this condition.”

Dr Diaz noted that an unspecified number of sufferers had been unable to return to work, once they had recovered from the acute sickness caused by the new coronavirus. This includes a range of symptoms from neurological illness to physical illness, UN News reported.

“We are concerned obviously with the numbers of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus that the number, just by the magnitude of the pandemic, will impact health systems,” she added.

Although comprehensive data on the condition is not yet available, the WHO official insisted that “these (symptoms) were real.”

“Some of the “more common” ailments were “fatigue, exhaustion and post-exertional malaise, cognitive dysfunction,” along with what some patients called “brain fog”, Dr Diaz said, calling them a “constellation of symptoms.”

Dr Diaz maintained that further research is needed to drill down into how many Covid-19 sufferers who did not require intensive care unit (ICU) treatment still developed the condition.

WHO has also asked clinicians and patients to report data on symptoms to the Organization’s Clinical Platform. This is being done to promote a better understanding of post-Covid sickness

“What we don’t know is why it’s happening, so what is the pathophysiology of this condition. The researchers are really working hard to get to the answers of these questions,” Dr Diaz said.

Published on February 13, 2021

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