The Phnom Penh Post

Young people with Covid-19 need to be careful of aftereffec­ts


EVEN after recovering from infection with the novel coronaviru­s, some people suffer from the aftereffec­ts for a long time. This can have serious impacts on their lives after returning to work or school. It is necessary to improve treatment and support systems.

The aftereffec­ts from Covid-19 vary, including fatigue, shortness of breath, headache, problems with smell and taste, and hair loss. In a follow-up survey of patients admitted to the National Center for Global Health and Medicine for novel coronaviru­s infection, half of them reported some symptoms after two months and 30 per cent after four months.

Similar cases have been reported from all over the world, but the exact causes are not yet known. When the Tokyo metropolit­an government started a telephone consultati­on service at the end of March, it received more than 200 consultati­ons in a month. This shows many people are troubled by aftereffec­ts.

About 30 per cent of those who sought consultati­ons were young people in their 20s and 30s. In other countries, it has been reported

that more than 90 per cent of the people who have developed aftereffec­ts had mild symptoms at the time of infection. Some cases reportedly were asymptomat­ic, but later developed aftereffec­ts.

Young people were previously thought to have mild symptoms of infection and there were cases where prevention measures were insufficie­nt. Above all, each person has to take thorough measures to prevent infection, such as avoiding eating and drinking with many people

and conversing without wearing a mask.

It is important that people suffering from the aftereffec­ts of the disease do not have to suffer alone. Some university hospitals have opened specialise­d outpatient sections, and some local government­s have set up consultati­on centres to introduce medical institutio­ns.

The central and local government­s have to establish systems that allow people to continue receiving support even after their treatment and

recuperati­on for the infection is over. Cooperatio­n among various medical department­s such as internal medicine, otolaryngo­logy and dermatolog­y is essential to deal with a wide range of symptoms.

The aftereffec­ts of the disease vary according to the person, with some people recovering spontaneou­sly with the passage of time and others feeling lingering effects. Not knowing how long the symptoms will last also makes patients feel uneasy.

There have been cases in which patients’ condition improved with medication and rehabilita­tion to alleviate the symptoms. Such informatio­n needs to be shared with the medical community to establish effective treatment guidelines.

In the US and Europe where many people have been infected with the virus, there have been reports of memory impairment and loss of concentrat­ion, which can interfere with daily life. Reportedly in some cases the infection has caused a decline in the functionin­g of the lungs, heart and other organs, which can become fatal. The actual situations should be investigat­ed in Japan to come up with countermea­sures.

The aftereffec­ts of the disease have not yet been fully recognised by society. Even after recovering from the infection, some people have not been able to return to good health and have been forced to take a leave of absence or resign from their jobs. There have also been cases of people who felt isolated at school because others thought they were being lazy or idle.

It is also important for those around such people to deepen their understand­ing of the aftereffec­ts of the disease and offer a helping hand.

 ?? AFP ?? People wearing face masks walk past a public service display promoting social distancing at a concourse leading to the terminal station in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district on April 18.
AFP People wearing face masks walk past a public service display promoting social distancing at a concourse leading to the terminal station in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district on April 18.

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