A recent revelation made by a team of health experts from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Bhubaneswar has added to the worries of the Covid infected persons in Odisha which continues to reel under a massive surge in coronavirus and Omicron cases at present.
As per the study, one out of every three Covid recovered patients in the State is suffering from long Covid complications. Persons having long Covid effect are developing a host of other health issues after recuperating from the virus infection.
The experts conducted the research involving adults over 18 years of age who had tested positive for Covid 19 during RTPCR tests earlier. The study was conducted to estimate the prevalence and identify the characteristics and predictors of long Covid among the confirmed cases of SARS-COV-2 infection.
The study revealed that long Covid or long-term complication after Covid-19 has the ability to affect health and quality of life. The researchers have also claimed that knowledge about the burden and predictors could aid in their prevention and management of the pandemic.
Experts at the AIIMS conducted a survey involving 487 persons diagnosed with Covid 19 between April and September 2021. As per the study, around 29.2% of persons diagnosed with the virus are reeling under long Covid even after recovering. Persons with long Covid develop symptoms like fatigue, cough, breathing issues, chest pain, failing to detect smell and taste, irritation and brain fog, the study found out.
The prevalence of long Covid among patients with mild/moderate infection was 23.4% as compared to 62.5% in severe/critical cases. The most common long Covid symptom is fatigue (64.8%) followed by cough (32.4%), the study found.
Moreover, around 34% of people who have received double doses of vaccines also have developed long Covid complications.
"Long Covid is identified as the complications that continue after recovering from Covid infection. People with long Covid are continuing with the symptoms even one month after recovery and are also developing certain other symptoms," said Dr Arvind Kumar Singh, Associate Professor, AIIMS.
Laxmidhar Behera, a resident of Bhubaneswar was diagnosed with Covid 19 during the first wave. Behera, who had no other health issues, developed several complications and diseases after recovering from COVID.
"Even after a year after recovering from Covid 19, I am still feeling unwell. Weakness, eyesight issues and neurological complications still persist," said Behera.
Though the intensity of complications has lessened, it continues to affect the day-to-day life of Behera.
Meanwhile, health experts suggested that the symptoms of long Covid were noticed during the outbreak of the Delta variant. However, as the cases of Omicron are on the rise, no such symptoms of long Covid from the new variant have been reported.
"We should remain optimistic during the current situation. People should not get worried over the complications of long Covid as it will continue for a short period only. The body's immune system is quite strong which can completely heal damaged lungs. For the time being, we should not get panicked," said health expert Dr Niraj Mishra.
The upsurge of Covid 19 cases has become a reason of concern across the world. As the Covid situation in India is worsening, Odisha continues to report over 11, 000 cases a day. And AIIMS study, while Omicron cases are on the rise, has augmented the stress among masses.