The WHO says that nearly 17 million people went through a long Covid pandemic for two years

The WHO says that nearly 17 million people went through a long Covid pandemic for two years

September 14, 2022: -Nearly 17 million people in Europe are suffering from “long Covid” within the initial two years of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new study released by the World Health Organization.

Around 10% to 20% of all Covid-19 cases reported in 2020 and 2021 across the region resulted in lingering effects lasting at least three months, with symptoms ranging from chronic exhaustion to brain fog and breathlessness.

Women were also twice as likely as men to experience long Covid. Among extreme cases resulting in hospitalization, one in three women developed long-term symptoms.

The study, conducted by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine, pertains to the WHO’s Europe region, which houses nearly 900 million people in 53 states across Europe and Central Asia.

Long Covid refers to a range of mid- and long-term effects that can emerge following a Covid infection. Those can include fatigue, breathlessness, and cognitive dysfunction, such as confusion and forgetfulness.

Some people’s mental health can even be directly or indirectly impacted.

While most people fully recover from Covid, Dr. Hans Kluge, the WHO’s regional director for Europe, said the findings highlight the urgent need for more analysis and investment in monitoring the drawn-out effects of the illness.

“Millions of people in our region, straddling Europe and central Asia, are suffering debilitating symptoms many months after their initial Covid-19 infection,” Kluge said.

“They cannot continue to suffer in silence,” he continued. “Governments and health partners must collaborate to find solutions based on research and evidence.”

The study found that patients with long Covid increased more than 300% in 2021 compared with 2020, in line with the drawn-out nature of the illness.

Worldwide, 145 million people own developed long Covid during 2020 and 2021, according to IHME data.

The director of IHME, Dr. Christopher Murray, said the findings should also raise awareness about the importance of long Covid for mental health and workplace wellbeing.

“Knowing how many individuals are involved and how long is important for health systems and management agencies to develop rehabilitative and support services,” Murray stated.

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