Women and overweight people are most at risk. Destructive impact also on children

What do we know about Long Covid, the long-term effects of Coronavirus

The Fanpage.it interview with Diamantis Plachouras of the ECDC: “We are monitoring the scientific, clinical and epidemiological evidence for the effects of Long Covid. We need to understand the mechanism behind this condition. Women and the obese are more vulnerable. Even those, who have had mild symptoms may suffer from them. “

Interview with Diamantis Plachoura

ECDC expert in antimicrobial resistance and health related infections.

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What do we know about Long Covid, the long-term effects of Coronavirus

“Of Long Covid little is known, studies are still ongoing, but what is certain is that it is a condition that affects an increasing number of patients who have had the infection and who continue to have some symptoms, even after recovery. Fanpage.it is Diamantis Plachouraexpert in antimicrobial resistance and health-related infections ofEcdcEuropean Center for Disease Prevention and Control, which took stock of the long Covid situation on the old continent on the basis of the information gathered so far, while analyzing the discovery of the mechanism underlying this condition , continues.

Dr.  Diamantis Plachouras.

Dr. Diamantis Plachouras.

Dr. Plachouras, what are the first available results of the Long Covid studies?

“The ECDC is monitoring the scientific, clinical and epidemiological evidence for the effects of Long Covid. We have put together a number of cases and are collaborating with other bodies to gather a range of information to better study this disease across the Union. further, is that Long Covid is characterized by a constellation of symptoms, from mild to persistent to the most disabling, affecting patients’ daily habits, people’s ability to work or perform simple and common actions.We have a number of hypotheses about, how Covid can cause this condition to develop, such as persistence of the virus in the body or an abnormal reaction of the immune system to the infection Many studies show that women, people with obesity problems and who have suffered from severe symptoms in the acute phase of the infection have a higher risk of Long Covid.But even those who have had mild symptoms may suffer from Long Covid, even young people.And since they are the majority one, overall, we can say that many of the people who suffer from Long Covid have had mild symptoms after the infection. “

What are the most common symptoms? Do you think they can change depending on the variant of the infection?

“Long Covid is characterized by persistent symptoms. We generally talk about this condition when the symptoms last for more than three months. Fatigue and tiredness are the most common, but there are also other registered, such as headaches., Cough, shortness of breath and the it is called brain fog.In addition, heart problems and diabetes.As for the question of variants, we have no indications that the symptoms of Long Covid and their frequency depend on the variant itself.It is still too early to conclude about the Omicron variant.We know, that Long Covid can occur even after suffering from mild symptoms, so we expect that such cases are also found in patients with Omicron and other variants.

How many Europeans suffer from this disease? Are there any numbers?

“It is difficult to know exactly how many Europeans are suffering from this condition. Also because we do not yet have a universally recognized definition of Long Covid, which makes it difficult to count all the patients who suffer from it and because there is not a common form of registration and reporting.Some organizations have tried to make estimates.For example, the National Bureau of Statistics in the UK estimated that one in 9 people who have had Covid have developed long-lasting Covid symptoms that last for “for at least 5 weeks and that one in three people reports the negative impact on their activities. So we are still talking about a very high percentage of patients who have symptoms of long covid”.

Have vaccines limited the effect of Long Covid?

“Many studies, not all, but most of these that analyze the effect of vaccination on Long Covid indicate that vaccines currently reduce the risk of Long Covid, as well as the risk of infection. Not only do you not take Long Covid. “you are not infected thanks to vaccines, but also because the risk decreases even if you are infected. And this is supported by most studies in this regard”.

What can you tell us instead about antiviral drugs like Paxlovid and Lagevrio? Do they have any effect on Long Covid patients?

“We are very interested in understanding whether we have any treatments that can reduce and mitigate the effects of Long Covid. Unfortunately, so far we have only reported a very limited number of individual cases, indicating that the antiviral agents you mentioned, could have beneficial effects on Long.Covid, but they are not enough and we need more specific clinical data to look at the potential effects of these drugs, which also have the great benefit of being administered orally. , when it comes to treatments for long Covid, is due to the fact that we do not fully understand what is the mechanism that causes it.There are a number of hypotheses.Among the most common, as we said before, is the persistence of the infection , so that the virus is still present in the body, or a reaction abnormal immune system with an autoimmune reaction to the first infection.When we know more about its origin, we hope to get even more information because there is a lots of research on this topic and it will be much easier to find appropriate treatments “.

Do children also like Long Covid?

“The impact on children can be really devastating. There are preliminary studies showing that some symptoms detected in the adult population, including diabetes, are also detected in younger patients, in addition to the more common ones such as fatigue. In Norway, for example, the latter symptom was found in about one in 16 children who had had Covid and it is a large enough number who worry because long Covid can have a really negative impact on their education, on health, mental and in general on their development “.

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