As the first step in the largest vaccination campaign in Argentina's history, first line health workers are receiving the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus.
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LONDON – The largest global study to date on Long Covid found that many people who suffer from persistent illness after being infected with Covid-19 cannot work at full capacity six months later.
The term "Long Covid" refers to patients who, after initially contracting the virus, suffer from a prolonged illness with symptoms such as shortness of breath, migraines and chronic fatigue.
Public discourse on the pandemic has mainly focused on people with severe or fatal illness, with the ongoing medical problems either underestimated or misunderstood. However, recent studies have shown that an increasing number of Covid patients experience persistent symptoms, with some patients referring to themselves as "long-distance drivers".
A preliminary study, published Tuesday on MedRxiv, is believed to be the largest collection of symptoms yet identified in the long Covid population.
In the non-peer-reviewed study, the researchers interviewed 3,762 people aged 18 to 80 from 56 countries to identify the symptoms and other problems resulting from the long Covid.
205 symptoms were recorded in 10 organ systems, with 66 symptoms followed over seven months. On average, the respondents had symptoms from nine organ systems.
What were the results of the study?
The most common symptoms after six months were: fatigue, post-exercise fatigue, and cognitive dysfunction, sometimes called brain fog.
Respondents with symptoms over six months had an average of 13.8 symptoms by the seventh month. This is evident from the study by members of patient-led research for COVID-19, a self-organized group of patients with long coviden who are also researchers.
Over 45% of respondents said they needed a reduced work schedule compared to their previous illness, and 22.3% said they were not working at the time of the survey due to their state of health. Almost 86% experienced relapses, with exercise, physical or mental activity, and stress identified as the main triggers.
The analysis was limited to suspected and confirmed Covid cases with an illness that lasted more than 28 days and started before June. This should allow for an examination of symptoms over an average of six months, the researchers said.
A woman wearing a protective face mask walks on the levee at Stanley Park on January 4, 2021 in Vancouver, Canada.
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"We mustn't forget Long Covid," said Dr. Gabriel Scally, President of Epidemiology at the Royal Society of Medicine, on Tuesday via Twitter.
"Thousands of new cases develop every day. Vaccination is critical, but it needs to be carried out effectively and backed by other control measures that the Independent Sage has tirelessly advocated," said Scally, a member of the scientific group that provides scientific advice on the pandemic British government and public.
The results of the study come from countries across Europe adopting tough new health measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
According to the Johns Hopkins University, more than 85 million people worldwide have infected Covid with 1.85 million deaths.