WHO experts warn health risk of ‘post-COVID’ symptoms – National Herald


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“Although many viral infections are self-limiting, making people feel unwell for only a few days before clearing up, others cause long-term problems. Early on, we realized that this new coronavirus was not just causing pneumonia. In some patients it was attacking many different body systems, such as the heart and blood vessels, the brain, and the kidneys,” said McKee.

In response to the prevalence of the lingering after-effects of Covid-19, Kluge acknowledged that the WHO had earlier in the month “hosted a consultation on post-Covid-19 conditions, focusing on recognition, research and rehabilitation.”

In addition, Kluge also confirmed that WHO Europe would soon be convening a conference with the chief medical officers of all 53 countries in the European Region to set out a regional strategy to tackle the issue.

“As we learn more, we need to make sure patients who have had suspected or confirmed Covid-19, who have persistent — new or changing symptoms — should have access to follow-up care. This is where primary health-care has a particularly strong role to play,” said Kluge.

The regional director further emphasised the need for the region’s medical authorities to seriously “listen and understand” the sufferers of post-Covid conditions, if they intended to tackle it successfully.

“I am calling upon you, countries and institutions in the European Region, to come together as part of an integrated research agenda, using harmonised data collection tools and study protocols. This will be key to maximize the impact of treatment and improve long-term outcomes for patients,” said Kluge.

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