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Found 357 results
  1. News Article
    Long Covid clinics across Australia are being inundated with requests for assessments from patients struggling with ongoing symptoms, an inquiry has heard. Doctors told the federal parliamentary inquiry into long and repeated coronavirus infections that they were struggling to keep up with demand as waitlists increased. At least 10 million Australians have been infected with Covid and it is estimated 3-5% will develop Long Covid at some point. “Our waitlist is increasing because what we’ve observed is that it can take some time for the recognition of post-Covid conditions, particularly with the fatigue-predominant types, to reach us,” Royal Children’s hospital Associate Prof Shidan Tosif told the inquiry on Wednesday. Patients are usually referred to specialist clinics through a GP and while there is no official cure, symptoms can sometimes be treated on a case-by-case basis. The inquiry by the House of Representatives health committee is investigating the economic, social, educational and health impacts of long Covid and repeat infections. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 12 October 2022
  2. News Article
    Long Covid is “devastating” the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of people, and wreaking havoc on health systems and economies, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned as he urged countries to launch “immediate” and “sustained” efforts to tackle the “very serious” crisis. The world has never been in a better position to end the Covid-19 pandemic, but it is also “very clear” that many of those infected by the virus, which first emerged in China in late 2019, are still experiencing “prolonged suffering”, the WHO director general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said. With the absence of evidence about how best to treat it, Long Covid is turning people’s lives upside down, and many face “often lengthy” and “frustrating” waits for support or guidance, Tedros said. The large numbers of those cruelly affected by the long tail of Covid is also having a dangerous impact on health systems and economies still reeling from waves of infections. “While the pandemic has changed dramatically due to the introduction of many lifesaving tools, and there is light at the end of the tunnel, the impact of long Covid for all countries is very serious and needs immediate and sustained action equivalent to its scale,” Tedros said, writing for the Guardian. Countries must now “seriously ramp up” both research into the condition and access to care for those affected if they are to “minimise the suffering” of their populations and protect their health systems and workforces. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 12 October 2022
  3. News Article
    More than 1 million people in the UK have long Covid at least one year after they were first infected, new figures reveal. The data, released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Thursday, comes as other figures suggest the number of Covid patients admitted to hospital in England is continuing to rise amid a new wave of the virus. As of 3 September, an estimated 2.3 million people living in private households in the UK – 3.5% of the population – had Long Covid, equivalent to one in every 28 people. Ondine Sherwood, a co-founder of the advocacy group and charity Long Covid SOS, says the number of people now reporting long Covid – 342,000 of whose lives are “severely impacted” as result – illustrates that this is “not just a personal tragedy but a societal, health and workforce problem”. Danny Altmann, professor of immunology at Imperial College London and expert on long Covid, described the situation as deeply disappointing, noting that while the number of people with long Covid appeared to dip over the summer, it is now clear there is a definite, ongoing, upwards trend. “This reinforces the message that it’s really foolhardy to imagine we can laugh off a massive, growing BA.5 wave as ‘living with the virus’ and ‘no worse than flu’,” he said. “Long Covid and even long Covid from the 2022 Omicron waves continues to wreck lives in people of all ages. I do wish we could just remind everyone to take this seriously – get boosted, keep indoor meetings well ventilated, wear masks indoors and for travel.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 6 October 2022
  4. News Article
    The global response to the first two years of the Covid-19 outbreak failed to control a pandemic that has led to an estimated 17.7 million deaths to date, a major review has concluded. The Lancet Commission on lessons for the future from the Covid-19 pandemic, produced by 28 world leading experts and 100 contributors, cites widespread failures regarding prevention, transparency, rationality, standard public health practice, operational coordination, and global solidarity. It concludes that multilateral cooperation must improve to end the pandemic and manage future global health threats effectively. The commission’s chair, Jeffrey Sachs, who is a professor at Columbia University and president of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, said, “The staggering human toll of the first two years of the Covid-19 pandemic is a profound tragedy and a massive societal failure at multiple levels.”In its report, which used data from the first two years of the pandemic and new epidemiological and financial analyses, the commission concludes that government responses lacked preparedness, were too slow, paid too little attention to vulnerable groups, and were hampered by misinformation.Read full story Source: BMJ, 14 September 2022
  5. Content Article
    Key recommendations The world requires globally coordinated efforts to bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic on a rapid and equitable basis. Countries should maintain a vaccination-plus strategy that combines mass vaccination, availability and affordability of testing, treatment for new infections and long COVID (test and treat), complementary public health and social measures (including the wearing of face masks in some contexts), promotion of safe workplaces, and economic and social support for self-isolation. WHO should expand the WHO Science Council to apply urgent scientific evidence for global health priorities, including future emerging infectious diseases. Governments, represented at the World Health Assembly (WHA) by their national health ministers, should establish stronger means of cooperation and coordination in the response to emerging infectious diseases. WHO should be strengthened. The WHA should create a WHO Global Health Board composed of the six WHO regions, represented by heads of state on a rotating basis, and selected by the governments of each region. A call for a dual track to prevent future emerging infectious diseases. The WHA, in conjunction with the G20 countries, should adopt a 10-year global strategy to bolster research and development capacity and commodity production capacity—including for vaccines—for every WHO region, including in the low-income regions of the world. Countries should strengthen national health systems on the foundations of public health and universal health coverage, grounded in human rights and gender equality. Strong public health systems should include strong relationships with local communities and community organisations; surveillance and reporting systems; robust medical supply chains; health-promoting building design and operation strategies; investments in research in behavioural and social sciences to develop and implement more effective interventions; promotion of prosocial behaviours; strong health education for health promotion, disease prevention, and emergency preparedness; effective health communication strategies; active efforts to address public health disinformation on social media; and continuously updated evidence syntheses. In addition to strengthening health systems, each country should determine and expand national pandemic preparedness plans to prevent and respond to newly emerging infectious diseases. A new Global Health Fund should be created that is closely aligned with WHO. This Fund should combine and expand the operations of several existing health funds and add new funding for three windows of financing: commodities for disease control, pandemic preparedness and response, and primary health system strengthening in LMICs. The UN member states, with particular responsibility of the G20 countries, should adopt a new financial architecture to scale up financing for LMICs to meet the urgent challenges of pandemic preparedness, the Paris Climate Agreement, and the Sustainable Development Goals.
  6. News Article
    An estimated 430,000 Britons were still suffering from Long Covid two years after first contracting the virus, according to data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). One in every 32 people in the UK was estimated to have some form of Long Covid at the end of July, equivalent to 2 million people. Of those, around 1.5 million said their symptoms were adversely affecting their daily activities, while 384,000 said their ability to undertake daily activities had been “limited a lot”. Fatigue continues to be the most common symptom reported by individuals with long Covid, with 62% reporting weakness or tiredness. More than a third, 37%, of those surveyed reported shortness of breath as one of their symptoms, while difficulty concentrating (33%) and muscle ache (31%) were the next most cited symptoms. Kelly Fearnley, a foundation doctor at Bradford Royal Infirmary, said: “Long Covid is not only crippling the health of the nation, it is destroying the health of our economy. “Research efforts so far have been slow and underfunded, and fail to reflect the scale and urgency of the problem. “Not only are some people not recovering, they are deteriorating. People have not only lost their health and independence, they are losing their jobs, financial security and homes.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 1 September 2022
  7. News Article
    Two years after having Covid-19, diagnoses of brain fog, dementia and epilepsy are more common than after other respiratory infections, a study by the University of Oxford suggests. But anxiety and depression are no more likely in adults or children two years on, the research found. More research is needed to understand how and why Covid could lead to other conditions. This study looked at the risks of 14 different disorders in 1.25 million patients two years on from Covid, mostly in the US. It then compared them with a closely-matched group of 1.25 million people who had a different respiratory infection. In the group who had Covid, after two years, there were more new cases of: dementia, stroke and brain fog in adults aged over 65 brain fog in adults aged 18-64 epilepsy and psychotic disorders in children, although the overall risks were small. Some disorders became less common two years after Covid, including: anxiety and depression in children and adults psychotic disorders in adults. The increased risk of depression and anxiety in adults lasts less than two months before returning to normal levels, the research found. Read full story Source BBC News, 18 August 2022
  8. News Article
    One in twenty people in the UK who are neither employed nor seeking paid work are suffering from Long Covid, with the figure more than doubling in the past year, official data has revealed. The proportion is far higher than for the 1 in 29 people who are unemployed but seeking work who have long Covid symptoms, or the one in 30 employed people who are sufferers, data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows. Individuals who are not employed and are not looking for paid work are classified as being economically inactive. The data suggests the long-term impacts of the virus could be driving people into this category, or into retirement. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 4 August 2022
  9. News Article
    One in eight Covid-19 patients (12.7%) is likely to experience long term symptoms, a study from the Netherlands has reported. Using digital questionnaires, researchers collected data on the frequency of 23 symptoms commonly associated with Covid in an uninfected population and in people who had had a Covid diagnosis. The findings, published in the Lancet, found that 21.4% of adults who had had Covid experienced at least one new or severely increased symptom three to five months after infection when compared with before. This compared with only 8.7% of uninfected people followed over the same period. The core Long Covid symptoms highlighted by the researchers include chest pain, difficulties breathing, pain when breathing, painful muscles, loss of taste and smell, tingling extremities, lump in throat, feeling hot and cold, heavy arms or legs, and general tiredness. Read full story Source: BMJ, 4 August 2022
  10. Event
    The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted nearly all countries’ health systems and diminished their capability to provide safe health care, specifically due to errors, harm and delays in diagnosis, treatment and care management. “Implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for patient safety: a rapid review” emphasises the high risk of avoidable harm to patients, health workers, and the general public, and exposes a range of safety gaps across all core components of health systems at all levels. The disruptive and transformative impacts of the pandemic have confirmed patient safety as a critical health system issue and a global public health concern. The objectives of the WHO event are : provide an overview of implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for patients, health workers, and the general public highlight importance of managing risks and addressing avoidable harm in a pandemic situation discuss implications of the pandemic for patient safety within broader context of preparedness, response and recovery lay the foundation for follow-up work around generating more robust evidence and supporting countries in their efforts to build resilient and safer health care systems. Register