Long COVID is already recognized in the Philippines and is also being given medical attention based on the symptoms shown by a patient, unlike last year that its symptoms were not treated to be connected in acquiring COVID-19.
“We already recognize that this Long COVID is already an accepted and recognized complication among patients who recovered from COVID-19 and there are already a lot of patients especially for our local patients,” said Dr. Rontgene Solante.
Multi-specialty treatment is performed on patients who show symptoms.
According to Solante, different ages experience the disease in the country.
Most symptoms are fatigue, difficulty sleeping, forgetfulness, and loss of taste and smell. It is also said that there are severe symptoms such as pneumonia or heart disease, which causes death.
Long COVID also has a psychological effect because the patient may go through depression or anxiety due to the fear that they will not recover. As such, treatment counseling is also included.
Although the connection of Long COVID to autoimmune diseases is not yet specific, some patients develop the autoimmune disease after COVID-19.
Long COVID already recognized by experts in PH, abroad
According to Solante, San Lazaro Hospital has experience here.
It is said that the number of patients admitted due to human immunodeficiency virus and tuberculosis increased, but it turned out that they were only positive for COVID-19.
Although the viral load is low, it can be said to cause a weakening of their immune system.
“There should be recognition that post-COVID or Long COVID is a reality. It is really occurring in patients,” said Solante.
Solante advises doctors to explain the possibility of Long COVID in their patients after recovering from the disease.
Those with the disease should not be discriminated against and should be encouraged to return to the hospital for diagnosis and treatment.
Long COVID patients are included in the priority list of the COVID-19 vaccine due to their existing comorbidities. They are also encouraged to get vaccinated because their re-infection rate is high.