WHO says No Treatment For Post-COVID-19 Conditions or long haul Covid-19
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) there is no treatment for the post-Covid-19 conditions, also known as long haul Covid-19.
What are post-Covid-19 Conditions?
Some of the people who recover from Covid-19 experience post-COVID conditions. These are a wide array of new, returning, or ongoing health problems people that can be experienced four or more weeks after being infected by the virus that causes COVID-19. However these conditions are not limited to those who developed serious illness, even those who did not develop COVID-19 symptoms in the days or weeks after they were infected can have post-COVID conditions.
These post-COVID conditions are known by a variety of names such as,
- long COVID
- long-haul COVID
- post-acute COVID-19
- long-term effects of COVID
- chronic COVID.
Symptoms of post-Covid-19 Conditions
Symptoms of post-Covid-19 Conditions include:
- shortness of breath
- difficulty thinking or concentrating clearly (brain fog)
- chest pain
- stomach pain
- pounding heart (heart palpitations)
- joint or muscle aches
- sleeping problems
- dizziness on standing (lightheadedness)
- body rash
- mood changes
- loss smell or taste
- changes in period cycles
According to head of clinical care within WHO emergencies programmes, Dr Janet Diaz, Dr Janet Diaz:
"So, some of the most common symptoms of post COVID-19 condition or as you said, long COVID, include shortness of breath, cognitive dysfunction, which people call brain fog, as well as fatigue. Those are the three most common. However, there has been more than 200 symptoms that actually have been reported in patients. So that list is quite long. So other symptoms that patients or people may experience include things such as chest pain, such as trouble speaking, some have described anxiety or depression, muscle aches, fever, loss of smell, loss of taste. So the list is quite long, but those top three are the ones that have been described."
On the issues of how long this condition lasts, Dr Janet Diaz said:
"Our understanding of the duration or how long this condition lasts is still not completely clear. It has been described that the condition can last three months, some have described as long as six months and potentially up to nine months. But as you know, we’re still about one year and a half into the pandemic. There’s still more studies that need to be done to follow patients who develop post COVID-19 condition or long COVID and to see when their symptoms we hope will resolve."
On the issue of treatment for this condition, she had this to say:
"Any patient or person who develops post COVID-19 condition should go seek care. The care pathways should be multidisciplinary in nature, meaning that they can include your primary care provider as well as relevant specialist rehab professionals, social care workers, psychosocial workers, mental health professionals. And that’s the type of care people with post COVID-19 condition should receive. In regards to specific treatment, we don’t yet have one. The reason is because we don’t yet understand why this develops. So, as we’re learning more about the actual reason or mechanism of the disease developing, then we hope to have a specific treatment."
You can watch Dr Janet Diaz speak in WHO’s Science in 5 on COVID-19 Prolonged symptoms after COVID -19 in the video below: