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Business News/ Science / Health/  Covid snapshot: Here are 5 things to know about Long Covid now
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Covid snapshot: Here are 5 things to know about Long Covid now

With three years in Covid pandemic now, an estimated of 65 million people have been affected by long Covid.

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There are severe Covid signs and symptoms that can last for months or even years, and it’s called ‘Long COVID’. Many researchers in their study have have investigated a connection between stress and ‘Long COVID’ in an effort to shed more light on this excruciatingly-persistent illness.

A study had revealed that more than two-thirds of non-hospitalized infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the first wave of the pandemic developed long Covid, according to the research published in the journal JAMA Network Open. 

Researchers were informed that the most common symptoms during the acute infection were fever, shortness of breath, muscle pain, and cough. With time and some more research, more symptoms and side effects were revealed.

Some study in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine also revealed that organ damage persisted in 59 percent of long Covid patients a year after initial symptoms appeared, even in those not severely affected when first diagnosed with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

As per the Conversation, a parliamentary inquiry which is currently investigating Australia’s response to long COVID which includes patient experiences, health system’s response and what the latest research shows.

Three years since Covid and with an estimated 65 million people affected by long COVID, here are five things to know about the condition, as listed by the report. 

Long or no recovery from lung function: People with long Covid find it difficult to see full recovery of lung function. Some studies show that one in five still complain of severe breathlessness while some 10 percent have severe functional impairment. Some studies show that among patients admitted to hospitals, abnormal chest x-rays, reduced exercise ability, and chronic dyspnea months after discharge especially for patients who required breathing assistance in the intensive care unit, as reported by the Conversation. As per the report, for patients who suffered from Covid pneumonia and had persistent breathlessness, treatment like pulmonary lung rehabilitation and exercise improved quality of life, however, it stated that the evidence is not strong.

COVID can increase the risk of chronic diseases: Many studies have stressed the correlation between Covid and chronic diseases. Studies have clearly stated that people with long COVID are at increased risk of stroke, heart disease and also an increased risk of diabetes. As per a study, during the first year of the Covid pandemic, the number of cardiovascular disease (CVD) deaths in the US increased by 6.2 percent. This number of CVD-related deaths increased from 874,613 in 2019 to 928,741 in 2020, marked the biggest annual increase since 2015 and surpassing the previous high of 910,000 in 2003. As per a recent study, researchers found that patients with long Covid experienced chest pain, shortness of breath than patients who never had Covid. Another US study (DETECT), using a smartphone app-based research platform, reported elevated resting heart rates in 71 percent and 76 percent of vaccinated individuals post-first and -second doses, respectively.

Long Covid not a single disorder: Long Covid which was previously conceived of as a singular condition is now a complicated disorder which is caused by variety of factors. These include inadequate immunity, development of autoantibodies, the persistence of SARS-CoV-2 virus, and tiny blood clots and/or damage to blood vessels).

Need to resource treatment adequately: As per the Conversation, unlike Covid pneumonia where people would benefit from traditional exercise-based rehabilitation programmes, some severe condition could be benefit by exercise pacing, and medication regimes. Severe cases of long COVID, myalgic encephalitis or chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and other post-infectious syndromes may include a condition known as POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome), where an excessive heart rate results in falls in blood pressure with even mild exertion.

COVID shouldn’t be dismissed as a psychological problem alone: Though Long Covid Syndrome has often been related to poor mental health, the risk of physiological problem is often overshowed in this. As per the Conversation, a large population study of more than 1.3 million people following Covid demonstrated that there was an initial increase in anxiety and depression, although it was temporary, unlike features of long COVID such cognitive dysfunction. These include verbal and nonverbal learning, short-term and working memory, visual and auditory processing, problem solving, processing speed, and motor functioning. 

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Published: 25 Feb 2023, 03:50 PM IST
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