June 20, 2022
About four crore Indians suffered long Covid symptoms during the last two years of the pandemic, as per a study that is not peer-reviewed yet. Long Covid is defined as having new or ongoing symptoms four weeks or more after the start of the disease. Symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of concentration, and joint pain. The symptoms can adversely affect day-to-day activities, and in some cases can be severely limiting.
According to the reports, in the study, a team of international researchers jointly analyzed countries for the occurrence of three major symptom clusters of long Covid — fatigue, cognitive problems, and shortness of breath. They pooled data from more than 44 global studies and medical record databases and also from the Global Burden of Diseases (GBD) study, from 204 countries.
The report further added that respiratory symptoms like cough, wheezing and shortness of breath was the highest and experienced by 60.4 percent of people. More than 50 percent suffered from fatigue — having body pain, being tired constantly, and getting easily upset. Cognitive problems like loss of memory, confusion, and feeling disoriented were experienced by 35.4 percent of people. Those with milder acute Covid-19 cases had a quicker estimated recovery of 3.99 months than those admitted for the acute infection of 8.84 months. At 12 months, 15.1 percent continued to experience long Covid symptoms.
The risk of long Covid was greater among females between 20 and 29 years and those with more severe initial infection. Further, the researchers also found that long Covid also affected “a lower but substantial number of children”, while severe acute infection has been very uncommon at younger ages.