March 27, 2023

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130,000 Belgians with long-term Covid disease: patients seem to have a certain profile |  medical

130,000 Belgians with long-term Covid disease: patients seem to have a certain profile | medical

In our country, an estimated 130,000 people suffer from long-term Covid, a phenomenon that still suffers from Corona complaints three months later. Here’s what intensive nutritionist and nutritionist Sabeth De Waele (UZ Brussel) said on “De Afspraak” on canvas. It also appears that patients have a specific profile

In the case of long-term Covid, there is first a confirmed infection with MERS-CoV or a serious suspicion of MERS infection. In addition, patients still had one, two or more specific complaints three months later. These symptoms can be continuous or come and go. In the latter case, they must be present for at least two months.

The complaints in question are first of all shortness of breath, especially during exertion. “For example, if you notice that you gasp when you go up a ladder, when in the past this has not been the case,” says De Waele. “Obvious fatigue is also a symptom. When you’re sick you sometimes have to recover for two weeks. With prolonged Covid, that’s still going after three months.”

mental problems

It could also be about mental issues, such as insomnia and difficulty concentrating. It looks like “for example, if you have to detail an email to understand and respond to”. “It should always be about new or abnormal complaints that did not bother you before you had corona. The complaints should not be explained by another disease you may have.”

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From three months, we can talk about a possible case of a long-term Covid virus. “After six months, a significant proportion of patients still have at least one symptom,” De Wiley says. After one year, most people are out of long-term Covid. But you still have a small group of patients who still have one or more symptoms.”

In our country, an estimated 130,000 people suffer from long-term COVID-19. “That’s a big group,” De Wiley continues. “There are a number of factors that make you more vulnerable. For example, people who are hospitalized with diabetes are more vulnerable. And people who have not been vaccinated. Usually both vaccinations protect you well from long-term Covid disease.”

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© Getty Images

A profile of long-term patients with Covid can also be made. “These are middle-aged people, between the ages of 40 and 60,” De Wiley says. “Generally speaking, the number of men is equal to the number of women, but there are a little more women among the people who were not hospitalized. Those middle-aged women who were not hospitalized are mostly women who are slightly overweight.”

A lot of research is currently being done on the long-term cause of Covid, but this mystery has yet to be resolved. It seems that “there are different hypotheses”. For example, it is possible that virus particles remain in the body for a longer time and that the body is still responding to them. Then we talk about prolonged inflammation. There may also be a disturbance of the bacteria in the gut.”

Psychiatric treatment

Treatment depends on the cause and so there is still something in the dark. “Research is being conducted at UZ Brussel on whether long-term Covid patients can be helped get back on their feet faster through a combination of physiotherapy (physiotherapy) and nutrition,” said De Waele. “The mistake that happened, especially in the beginning with many patients, was that the focus was mainly on fitness and exercise to get them going better. But that doesn’t always help. There is a lot of post-workout fatigue and people sometimes feel like they hold back more than forward. That was frustrating. Hence the combination.”

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