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Up to 20% of Thais report suffering from lingering Covid effects, says Department of Medical Services



PHOTO: Alberto Alba/Flickr

The Department of Medical Services has announced that 10% to 20% of Thai Covid patients suffer from lingering Covid effects, a post-syndrome that is also known as “long Covid”, but the department adds that multiple terms have been used to characterise the syndrome. Long Covid can persist for weeks, and sometimes months after a patient has recovered from the virus. Dr Piamlap Sangsayan, the Pulmonary Medicine chief of the DMS’ Central Chest Institute of Thailand, says the frequency of long Covid symptoms may go up with factors such as age, obesity, and daily steroid use.

The litany of long Covid symptoms, which the BBC says there have been hundreds of complaints associate with long Covid, includes:

  • Fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Depression
  • Diarrhoea
  • Rash
  • Changes in period cycles
  • Heart palpitations
  • Dizziness on standing

The doctor says these symptoms can persist for a while after treatment. Dr Piamlap went on to say that 10% to 20% of Thai patients have been found to experience some of these symptoms after recovering from the virus and that the conditions affect around 40% to 50% of sufferers in other countries. She cautions that this lower rate among Thais may be more of a reflection of patients not reporting symptoms to health officials after they have recovered.

The Bangkok Post says the treatment for long Covid is adjusted to meet the symptoms. They say patients once they have recovered from Covid, can enter a rehabilitation programme. Patients will slowly recover from this syndrome after about a month. For severe cases, a full recovery can take up to half a year.

Dr Piamlap concluded her remarks by saying people who got a Covid vaccine are less likely to get long Covid symptoms as the vaccine helps protect against the syndrome.

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Jack is from the USA, has a B.A. in English, and writes on a variety of topics. He lives in Thailand.

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