WHAT IS LONG COVID SYNDROME?
A significant number of individuals report suffering from symptoms of Covid-19 for weeks after the first symptom was experienced. These prolonged symptoms were found in individuals who were never serious enough to be admitted to the hospital and even individuals who were discharged from the hospital after receiving treatment.
Among the global pandemic, where the worlds doctors and researchers were focused on dealing with the massive patient population suffering from the acute nature of Covid-19, individuals with prolonged Covid symptoms were forgotten.
These individuals came together on social media to share their experiences with each other and soon gave birth to the term ‘Long Covid’.
WHAT IS 'LONG-COVID'?
Long Covid is an unofficial term that was used by these individuals to describe their experiences and find solace in the company of others like them. It was a term used to bring together a community of people that were forgotten in their isolation.
As put by Dr. Elisa Perego in a seminar on Long Covid by ISARIC
"Long Covid is not a single organization, a single person, a single nation, a single research group. It is a grassroot movement of people who came together in solidarity to ask them to provide for recognition, rehabilitation and research. We really need to keep using Long Covid. Long Covid is a testament to those who fought for it, even when they didn’t know if they were going to die or live."
This community of individuals have come together to form Long Covid Support Groups to seek out and assist people like them and brought forth excellent patient advocates and researchers who have played a significant role in increasing awareness among policy makers and attention among researchers.
A paper by Nabavi N. “Long covid: How to define it and how to manage it” has pragmatically described Long Covid as “not recovering for several weeks or months following the start of symptoms for Covid-19 whether you were tested for Covid or not.”
An exact definition for Long Covid has been problematic to establish due to lacking research about the condition.
The most common symptoms reported were feeling of breathlessness, loss of sensations of taste and smell as well as fatigue. Various other symptoms were also reported like anxiety, depression, sleep disorders and PTSD. Certain imaging studies on the chronic effects of Covid-19 also revealed myocardial inflammation and interstitial lung changes.
These symptoms have a random presentation, disappearing for a few weeks and the reappearing leading to various patients addressing it as a Coronacoaster. This prolonged symptoms have kept people trapped for far longer than expected and has affected their daily life far beyond the presence of a quarantine.