One year after COVID-19 paralyzed the world, the focus is on the different variants of the virus that have emerged and on vaccines to help us fight them to regain our normal life. However, there is another issue that worries the World Health Organization (WHO): the mystery of persistent COVID. “We still don’t know how persistent COVID really is”, said during an interview Janet Diaz, head of the clinical team in charge of the response to the coronavirus, who calls for an effort from the scientific community because she considers that it is a problem that also deserves the urgent attention of the scientific community.
WHO talks about postcovid-19 syndrome, The “Long-term COVID-19” to refer to this situation, although “COVID long” is the most used expression. However, there is still no official name, which is why the WHO will hold the first virtual seminar on February 9 dedicated to the long (or persistent) covid that brings together clinicians, researchers and experts. The objective will be to find a definition of the disease, give it a formal name and harmonize the methods to study it.
“It is a pathology that needs to be better described, of which we need to know how many people are affected, of which we must better understand the cause so that we can improve prevention, management and ways to cure them”, emphasizes this 48-year-old American emergency doctor. “There is still much to learn, but I trust the mobilization of the scientific community ”, she adds.
Available studies show that about 10% of patients have symptoms a month after being infected and at the moment there is no idea how long they can persist. For its part, a study recently published in the journal The Lancet revealed that, of the 1,733 coronavirus patients treated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, 76% still experienced at least one of the symptoms six months later to catch it.
The most puzzling is that the profile of the patients who suffer it it does not coincide with that of the most vulnerable people: the elderly and those who suffer from aggravating factors. It affects people who became ill to varying degrees “And it also includes young people.” Regarding the symptoms, the most frequent seems to be the exhausted, but there are others like exhaustion after physical exertion or illness, shortness of breath, thinking difficulties clearly, palpitations cardiac neurological problems.
“What is not understood is how all these things are linked. Why does someone have one thing and another another? ”, The doctor wonders, underlining that researchers must understand the intimate mechanisms of the disease that cause these symptoms. “Is this due to the virus? To the immune response? If we knew more we could start to identify some interventions to reduce symptoms”, she concludes.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.