LONG Covid is a range of symptoms that continue for weeks or months beyond the initial Covid-19 illness.
Long Covid can happen to any Covid-19 patient, including those who were not hospitalised and who had a mild version of the illness. Some patients develop complications that may have lasting health effects.
From the preliminary results of our study on Long Covid among Covid-19 survivors (n=487), about one-third perceived they were not in good health compared with before infection.
Upon recovery from infection, common symptoms reported were fatigue (72.3%), difficulty thinking/concentrating (59.6%), joint/muscle pain (47.1%), insomnia (45.5%), anxiety (42.9%) and depression (39.3%). Other common symptoms were cough (38.4%), feeling sick (35.8%), loss of smell/taste (35.3%), increased heartbeat rates (33.2%), difficulty breathing (33%), weight loss (31.9%), dizziness upon standing (31.8%) and headache (30.6%).
Thirty percent experienced some of the above symptoms up to six weeks post recovery, while 10%-20% and 10% experienced these symptoms up to three months or six months respectively.
About a third said symptoms affected their work productivity until they had to reduce work hours (64.3%) or take leave (30.8%).
Are you a Covid-19 survivor and have you had a similar or different experience?
Please participate in our survey at bit.ly/longcoviddata so we can get more accurate findings.
For those who are lucky not to have been infected, do adhere to all SOPs and get vaccinated to protect yourself and your loved ones.
To avoid Long Covid you must avoid being infected with Covid-19.
PROF DR MOY FOONG MING
Department of Social & Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Malaya