WHO Announces First Clinical Definition of Long COVID

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday (9/10) announced that it had established and released the first standard clinical definition of the symptoms commonly known as “long COVID”. This is done to improve treatment for the sufferer.

Speaking virtually to reporters from WHO headquarters in Geneva, WHO Head of Clinical Management Janet Diaz said this definition was agreed after consultation with health workers around the world.

He said the condition in which symptoms of an illness persist beyond those experienced by other patients is usually referred to as “post-COVID,” one of many similar terms used.

These symptoms occur in people with confirmed or probable infection with the new coronavirus, which “usually occurs three months after contracting COVID-19 with symptoms lasting at least two months, and the symptoms cannot be explained by alternative diagnoses.”

Symptoms include “fatigue, difficulty breathing, cognitive dysfunction,” Diaz says, but there are also other symptoms, which generally have a detrimental impact on day-to-day health.

Diaz explained that until now, the lack of clarity among medical professionals about the condition has made it difficult to advance research and treatment. (jm / pp)

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