Thursday 24 September 2020

Coronavirus takes ‘shocking’ toll on health: patient survey

Illustration: Depositphotos.com

People who have been infected with coronavisrus but were not admitted to hospital are struggling with severe effects on their health months after first falling ill, a survey by the respiratory disease organisation Longfonds has shown.

Some 95% of the 1,600 respondents, of whom 91% were not admitted to hospital and 43% were never officially diagnosed, said they have trouble with normal day to day activities three months after being infected.

Persisting symptoms include tiredness, shortness of breath, headaches, muscle pain and heart palpitations. The average age of the respondents is 53.

Most of the respondents, some 85%, said they had no health problems before the infection. That number dropped to 6%, with almost half of the respondents unable to resume physical activities like sport.

Longfonds spokesman Michael Rutgers said the results are shocking. ‘This is a large group of corona patients who are sitting at home and who really need help. They are in a terrible state. (..) Six in 10 people even have trouble walking. These are normal, healthy people who are now wondering if they will ever be well again.’

The Longfonds and Long Alliantie Nederland LAN have opened an online platform where patients and relatives can go for information and advice.

So far almost 300,000 have consulted the site where they can also speak to fellow sufferers. The organisations will also use the data to conduct research into how to develop a programme of aftercare for coronavirus patients.

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