The World Health Organization called for more research on “long-term Covid” disease and attention to those who suffer from it and their rehabilitation, during a conference that included experts who shared experiences about this condition, which is still not sufficiently understood.
The organization held this first conference in a series prepared with the aim of expanding the understanding of post-infection symptoms of Covid, and not only scientists and doctors participated, but also people who suffered from this condition.
Information is still scarce about why some people, after passing through the acute phase of Covid-19, continue to suffer from several symptoms, including fatigue, brain fog, and cardiovascular problems.
Studies indicate that 1 in 10 may suffer from long-term symptoms a month after infection, which means that millions are at risk of suffering from an ongoing disease.
The Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that with the shift in attention to vaccination campaigns, “a long-term Covid should not be neglected.”
He added that the long-term impact of Covid on society and the economy is becoming evident, and despite the strengthening of the level of research, it is “still not sufficient”, he said.
British doctor Gail Carson of the International Federation of Acute Respiratory Infection warned that “a long-term Covid can become a pandemic above a pandemic.”
She presented the suffering of patients suffering from long-term COVID-19 who are subject to monitoring in the context of presenting the results of the findings of the “Post-Covid Support Forum.”
She noted that even for those who did not have to enter hospital to be treated for the virus, this situation changed their lives.
“People are losing their jobs and their relationships. There is an urgent need to try to understand this,” she said.
Carson added that even long-term COVID-19 in children was “less noticeable” than it is in adults.
She described allocating only 45 projects to long-term COVID-19 out of more than 5,000 funded COVID-19 as “shocking”.
Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO Technical Officer for COVID-19, said the organization continues to learn about this aspect of the pandemic.
“We know we have to do a lot of work there,” she added, noting the need “to persevere in order to get answers.”