The WHO has urged nations to invest promptly in research, recovery, and rehabilitation in order to treat the post-COVID-19 syndrome seriously.
At least 17 million people in the 53 Member States of the WHO European Region may have encountered post-COVID-19 conditions, also known as long COVID, in the first two years of the pandemic, according to a new simulation done for WHO by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington School of Medicine in the US. Or, to put it another way, between 2020 and 2021, an estimated 17 million individuals matched the WHO definition of a new case of extended COVID with symptoms that lasted at least three months.
According to the model, the significant rise in verified COVID-19 instances from late 2020 through 2021 will be the main cause of the 307% surge of new long-term COVID cases found between 2020 and 2021.
Additionally, the modelling indicates that women are twice as likely as men to have a long COVID. Additionally, one in three females and one in five males are likely to develop protracted COVID in severe COVID-19 cases that require hospitalisation.
Dr. Hans Henri Kluge, WHO’s regional director for Europe, stated that while there is still much to learn about long-term COVID, particularly how it manifests in vaccinated versus unvaccinated communities and how it affects re-infections, these data highlight the urgent need for additional research, financing, assistance, and togetherness with those who suffer from this condition.
Millions of people in their region, which spans Central Asia and Europe, are still experiencing crippling symptoms months after contracting COVID-19. They can’t bear their suffering any longer. He added that governments and health stakeholders must work together to develop solutions that are supported by data and analysis.
The aggregate phrase post COVID-19 condition or long COVID refers to the collection of persistent symptoms that some patients endure after having COVID-19. While the majority of COVID-19 sufferers recover fully, it is suspected that 10–20% experience a range of short-, mid-, and long-term side effects, including fatigue, dyspnea, and cognitive impairment.
Long-term COVID can both directly and indirectly damage a person’s mental health as well as their capacity to carry out daily tasks like work or household chores.