One in eight people infected with the coronavirus suffer from persistent covid

Worrying results

A group of researchers from the Netherlands has made a significant advance in this fight to quantify the prevalence and characteristics of long-lasting covid. The work carried out by Professor Judith Rosmalen, of the University of Groningen, concludes that 12.7%, or one in eight of people infected with SARS-CoV-2, maintain at least eight months after the diagnosis of contamination a permanent sequelae of the disease, according to the results published in the prestigious scientific journal ‘The Lancet’.

This prevalence, transposed into reality, would point to the fact that very many people in Europe would suffer from a kind of persistent covid, a proportion which, if it can be confirmed, should trigger the alarms of health officials given the magnitude of the problem. Regardless for now, it is important to continue to protect yourself from the virus and to take certain measures. For example, it is important to prefer online procedures rather than face-to-face. Many devices are available for this, such as the site Carte Grise counter, the registration service approved by the Statewhich allows you to carry out your procedures from your home.

It should be noted that the data from the study agree with the estimates put forward to date by certain experts and preliminary works, which have noted between 10% and 15% of positive patients with serious lasting sequelae. The work makes two other great contributions. It specifies what are the characteristic sequelae generated by covid and specifies that these are symptoms that reach their peak about three months after infection and which, from there, stabilize and become chronic.

Consequences that can be serious

The most repeated persistent conditions are loss of taste and/or smell, which is detected in 7.3% of patients, muscle pain, which affects 7.3%, and fatigue or general fatigue, which attacks 4 .9%. Other specific conditions linked to the virus are chest pain, difficulty breathing or pain, tingling in the hands and feet, sore throat, alternating feeling of cold and heat, and feeling of heaviness in the arms and legs. The researchers also detected that another series of symptoms very common in the acute phase of the infection then disappear as a specific and recurrent sequelae. This list includes fever, headache, nausea and vomiting, dry cough or digestive and diarrheal disorders.

A pioneering study

This is pioneering research. In addition to providing a concrete figure for the prevalence of persistent covid, the study manages to determine what are the main sequelae of the disease and the relevance and frequency of each. It achieves this because it studies SARS-CoV-2 positive cases whose prior medical status is known. This allows researchers to rule out prior symptoms, concurrent symptoms between infected and uninfected, or reject others, such as stress related to confinements and restrictions, common to all and foreign to the coronavirus.

Important constraints

The researchers themselves warn against two constraints that force them to qualify their results. They only study patients infected with the alpha variant, the main one of the first wave, and therefore it is not known if the delta and the Ómicron, responsible for most of the infections of the pandemic, have a similar impact. . Similarly, the observation of a sample of patients closed in the first weeks of the epidemic, has no results on the effect of the initial vaccination and reinforcements on the evolution of the disease. It is not yet known whether the onset of lasting covid is decreasing, as many experts have predicted. In any case, the persistent covid is an urgent problem with an increasing number of victims which obliges the health authorities to provide equally concrete and urgent responses.

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