By Mary Hearty

There have been common reported symptoms of post COVID-19 conditions, also known as long COVID among patients who have recovered from the infection such as shortness of breath, cognitive dysfunction also called brain fog, and fatigue.

Dr Janet Diaz, Clinical Lead, Health Care Readiness at the World Health Organization (WHO) during WHO Science in 5 interview acknowledged that there has been more than 200 reported symptoms in such patients including chest pain, trouble in speaking, some have described anxiety or depression, muscle aches, fever, loss of smell, loss of taste, among others.

“We do not yet have a specific treatment because we do not 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,” Dr. Diaz said.

Furthermore, she said that the duration that this condition can last is still not completely clear. It has been described that the condition can last three months, six months and potentially up to nine months.

It is for this reason that Dr. Diaz suggested that more studies need to be done to follow patients who develop post COVID-19 condition or long COVID in order to know when their symptoms will resolve.

Additionally, she advised that any patient or person who develops post COVID-19 condition should go seek medical care, emphasizing that care pathways should be multidisciplinary in nature, meaning that they need to include your primary care provider as well as relevant specialist rehab professionals, social care workers, psychosocial workers, mental health professionals, among others as these are the type of care people with post COVID-19 condition need.

To avoid the development of long COVID, prevention from getting COVID-19 infection remains important, Dr. Diaz said, encouraging COVID-19 vaccination as it reduces hospitalization and mortality.

“Moreover, public health measures such as mask wearing in the appropriate places, physical distancing, hand-washing, are also extremely important to prevent COVID-19,” she added.