Long Covid Sufferers in Europe Might Be in the Millions, WHO Report Warns

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A report issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that 17 million people suffered from long Covid in the first two years of the H1N1 pandemic, with most of these cases having occurred within 6 months of the initial outbreak. This number amounts to an estimated 11% of those who contracted the illness, and may be just the tip of the iceberg as far as long Covid sufferers are concerned.

Image Source- Al Jazeera

In the first two years of the coronavirus epidemic, at least 17 million people in Europe had “long Covid,” according to a recent report published Tuesday by the World Health Organization.

The analysis discovered that between 10% and 20% of all Covid-19 instances recorded in the region in 2020 and 2021 had symptoms that persisted for at least three months, ranging from persistent fatigue to brain fog and shortness of breath.

Long Covid was also twice as common in women as in males. One in three women with severe cases that required hospitalisation exhibited long-lasting symptoms.

The study, which was carried out by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington School of Medicine, focuses on the WHO’s Europe area, which includes 53 states spread over Europe and Central Asia and is home to approximately 900 million people.

‘Debilitating symptoms’
Long Covid is the phrase used to describe a variety of mid- and long-term consequences that may occur after a Covid infection. These include exhaustion, shortness of breath, and cognitive impairment including disorientation and forgetfulness.

The mental health of certain persons may also be affected, either directly or indirectly.

Despite the fact that the majority of Covid patients fully recover, Dr. Hans Kluge, the WHO’s regional director for Europe, stated that the results underscore the urgent need for further research and funding in order to monitor the long-term repercussions of the sickness.

Many months after their first Covid-19 infection, “millions of people in our region, crossing Europe and central Asia, are suffering from terrible symptoms,” Kluge added.

They cannot go on suffering in quiet, he said. Governments and health partners must work together to develop solutions supported by data and analysis.

According to the study, cases of long-term COVID increased by more than 300% in 2021 compared to 2020, which is consistent with the illness’ protracted nature.

According to IHME statistics, 145 million individuals are anticipated to have had lengthy Covid throughout the world between 2020 and 2021.

The findings, according to Dr. Christopher Murray, the head of IHME, should increase awareness of the effects of prolonged Covid on mental health and workplace wellness.

Health institutions and governmental organisations need to know how many individuals are harmed and for how long in order to provide rehabilitation and support programmes, according to Murray.

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