WHO urges actions for 'long COVID' sufferers

WION Web Team
Geneva, Switzerland Published: Feb 25, 2021, 06.25 PM(IST)

Coronavirus across the world Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The unit has reported that about one in 10 people who contracted the coronavirus continue to show "persistent ill health" 12 weeks after infection.

The World Health Organisation's (WHO) European branch said Thursday that patients experiencing post-Covid or long Covid symptoms needed to be heard to and understanding long-term consequences should be made a priority by health authorities.

The unit has reported that about one in 10 people who contracted the coronavirus continue to show "persistent ill health" 12 weeks after infection.

Thereby, in a policy brief released on Thursday, WHO Europe urged policymakers to do more to acknowledge and treat long COVID, which can bring severe fatigue, chest pain, heart inflammation, headache, forgetfulness, depression, loss of smell, recurrent fever, diarrhea and ringing in the ears.

While some studies are beginning to shed light on the illness, it is still unclear why some patients with Covid-19 continue to show symptoms for months, including tiredness, brain fog, and cardiac and neurological disorders.

"The burden is real and it is significant. About one in 10 Covid-19 sufferers remain unwell after 12 weeks, and many for much longer," Kluge said.

Noting that reports of long-term symptoms came soon after the disease was first discovered, he said that some patients were "met with disbelief or lack of understanding."

WHO Europe called on European countries and institutions to "come together as part of an integrated research agenda," harmonising data collection tools and study protocols.

The regional director also said he would bring together the 53 member countries of the WHO's European region, including several countries in Central Asia, "to set out a regional strategy."

In early February, WHO organised the first virtual seminar devoted to so called "Long Covid," in order to properly define it, give it a formal name and harmonise methods for studying it.

(with inputs from agencies)

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