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The effects of Long Covid: so the ailments continue for months (or appear from scratch)

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The effects of Long Covid: so the ailments continue for months (or appear from scratch)
Written by aquitodovale

from Vera Martinella

More than 30 percent of those infected continue to suffer from the consequences of the virus for a long time after the acute phase. A syndrome of which little is known and which can involve practically all organs and systems

We will talk a lot and at length about Long Covid because the more time passes since the beginning of the Sars-CoV-2 pandemic, the more we discover the long-term unexpected effects of the virus and their impact on our lives. An impact that is likely to break down like a tsunami not only on the health of individuals, but on the well-being of the whole community, to the point of jeopardizing the stability of our National Health Service itself. Almost all Western countries have launched special projects that aim to collect data, archive them, analyze them to understand how and where to treat and manage new patients. While the most prestigious international scientific journals are full of new studies that follow one another like parts of a gigantic puzzle.

The book

The World Health Organization has decided to officially call it post Covid-19 condition: the condition of persistence of signs and symptoms that continue (or develop) more than 12 weeks after the end of the acute phase of the disease. A syndrome about which little is yet known, because it takes time to collect enough data to draw conclusions and because there are two obstacles to complicating the work of researchers: first, the organs affected are different and the symptoms are many, not easy to frame with confidence; second, different variants of the virus (such as Delta, Omicron, etc.) could have corresponding long-term consequences.

What is Long Covid or Post Covid syndrome? How is it diagnosed? How to deal with respiratory, cardiovascular, neurological or other symptoms resulting from the Coronavirus? Who at greatest risk? How to heal? The book Post COVID. What we need to know about the long-term consequences of the virus for body and mind (by Sergio Harari with Vera Martinella, Solferino editions) offers a first assessment of what science has ascertained so far, a guide for people who continue to suffer from problems after infection, to help them understand and interpret the symptoms. With special attention also to the psychological distress caused by the pandemic and to the problems of children and adolescents.

Not always linked to a serious infection

There are millions of reports collected by doctors for more or less severe problems that persist months after the end of Covid-19: from chronic fatigue to brain fog, from cardio-pulmonary to gastrointestinal damage, including disorders affecting the kidneys, liver, skin and hair. Symptoms are not always related to the degree of severity of the Covid disease suffered in the acute phase and the mechanism by which they develop is not always clear. How many people suffer from it? Many, but it is impossible for now to give certain numbers. Some statistics indicate the presence of Long Covid syndrome in about 30 percent of those infected, but there are much higher estimates, up to 50 percent. Some more information available on those most at risk of developing a post Covid condition: those who are older, women, those who are obese or overweight, those who have had a hospital stay (especially if in intensive care) due to a severe Sars-CoV-2 infection, those suffering from other diseases (such as diabetes, arterial hypertension, asthma, for example).

Causes and therapies

The causes? Still largely unknown, though the powerful inflammatory state caused by the virus seems to be the main suspect and the common denominator of many different disorders associated with post Covid syndrome. In fact, scientific research is focusing on the one hand on the mechanisms underlying the development of the various manifestations of the disease and on the other on possible treatments. At the moment, in fact, the therapies are mostly based on the experience that the various specialists build over time and, for now, they aim above all to relieve the symptoms complained of by patients.

One last great chapter when it comes to post Covid his psychological impact: on couples, on families, on work, on the most fragile people (such as those who were already being treated for psychiatric disorders, the elderly, single people) and on children and adolescents, which are also paying a very high price in terms of mental well-being. The growing numbers of anxiety, eating disorders and sleep problems. In Italy as in the rest of the world.

June 25, 2022 (change June 25, 2022 | 5:55 pm)

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