Study warns of underdiagnosis of persistent covid in Catalonia

A study indicates that in Catalonia there are about 14,000 registered cases of persistent covid, but which would be between 48,000 and 72,000 people affected and not yet diagnosed for a disease that, moreover, still has no standardized approach in the territory as a whole.

This is the conclusion of a study by the covid scientific advisory committee of the Govern, the Multidisciplinary Collaborative Group for covid Monitoring (in which the Col.legi de Metges and ISGlobal participate) and experts convened for this report.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), persistent covid is the disease contracted by people with a history of SARS-CoV-2 infection. usually in the following three months to the onset of covid-19, with symptoms and effects that last at least two months and that cannot be attributed to an alternative diagnosis.

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Common symptoms include, but are not limited to, fatigue, shortness of breath, and cognitive dysfunction; and generally have a impact on people’s daily activities.

Symptoms may be either new onset after initial recovery from an acute episode of covid-19 or persist from the acute phase, and may fluctuate over time.

Detection of primary

According to the data extracted from the clinical records of the primary care, as of November 19, 2022, there were 13,437 persons with persistent covid-19 registration in Catalonia.

However, estimates from the Covicat study, led by ISGlobal (a center funded by the “la Caixa” Foundation), multiply that figure.

Their “conservative” estimate would raise to some 240,000 people in Catalonia who could have developed covid persists at some point and, of these, between 48,000 and 72,000 people would have suffered associated functional limitations to severe forms of the disease (these would be the ones that should potentially be diagnosable).

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Priority care for persistent covid is directed from the primary care centers but, except in some territories where protocols have been planned (Metropolitan North and South, and Lleida), there is a “lack of standardization of the care process”, so there is no territorial equity, the report remarked.

Its authors recommend further increase vaccination rates. (it has been observed that reduces the risk of persistent covid), a plan for the professionals health care professionals to diagnose and record cases, strengthen primary and its coordination with hospitals, adopt multidisciplinary care and fund research, among other measures.

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