What are the long-term sequelae of COVID-19?

Long-term COVID-19 symptoms (also known as “COVID-19 acute sequelae”), generally defined as those that persist for more than three months, are an important factor in generating public concern about novel Coronavirus and the outbreak.

More than two million people in the UK could be affected by these long-term aftereffects, which could have serious implications for public health, according to a report published by Imperial College London on 24 June 2021.

How to reduce and avoid long-term sequelae as well as health management of long-term sequelae has become an important topic of concern for researchers all over the world.

Many scientists believe that long-term symptoms of COVID-19 will become a chronic disease. Because COVID-19 usually strikes the lungs first, but it’s not limited to respiratory diseases, and many people’s lungs aren’t even the most affected organ because cells in many different locations in the body contain ACE2 receptors, the virus’s primary target, and because the infection can damage the immune system, which is spread throughout the body.

A study in the UK estimated that 7% to 18% of COVID-19 patients go on to have some long-term COVID-19 symptoms lasting at least 5 weeks.

A study published on medRxiv in August 2020 followed people who had been hospitalized and found that even a month after discharge, more than 70 percent reported shortness of breath, while 13.5 percent were still on oxygen at home.

These long-term sequelae have also been found in infected children.

Danilo Buonsenso, a pediatrician at Rome’s Gemelli University Hospital, is the first to try to quantify long-term COVID-19 symptoms in children. His research team interviewed 129 children aged 6-16 who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 between March and November 2020. Follow-up studies found that more than a third of people had one or two lingering symptoms four months or more after infection, and a quarter had three or more symptoms, such as insomnia, fatigue, muscle pain, and persistent flu-like symptoms. Researchers believe the condition is similar to the long-term symptoms of COVID-19 in adults. And even children with mild or no symptoms at first were not immune to these long-term effects, the researchers found.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) also published figures showing that 9.8% of children aged two to 11 and 13% of children aged 12 to 16 reported at least one lingering symptom five weeks after a positive diagnosis.

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