JERUSALEM – New research suggests at least 17 million people in the European Union may have experienced lingering COVID-19 symptoms during the first two years of the coronavirus pandemic, during which women are more likely to contract the disease. than men, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday. .
Study conducted for WHO/Europe, it is unclear whether symptoms persist, recur, or first appear at least a month after coronavirus infection are more common in vaccinated or unvaccinated people. strains. At least 17 million people meet WHO criteria for Long COVID-19– with symptoms lasting at least three months in 2020 and 2021, the report said.
Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, said: “Millions of people in our region, living in Europe and Central Asia, are suffering debilitating symptoms months after being infected with COVID. -19,” Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, said during a conference in Tel Aviv.
The modeling also shows that women are twice as likely to develop COVID-19 as men, and that the risk is significantly increased for severe infections requiring hospitalization, the report said. One-third of women and one-fifth of men are likely to have long-term COVID-19 illness, according to the report.
Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which carried out the WHO study, said: “Knowing how many people are affected and for how long is important for health systems and institutions. government agencies in the development of rehabilitation and support services.
The study represents an estimate, not the actual number of people affected, following several other recent studies into the constellation of more permanent symptoms after coronavirus infection.
A US study of veterans published in Nature Medicine in May provided new evidence that Prolonged COVID-19 can occur even after breakthrough infection in vaccinated people, and older adults face a higher risk for long-term effects. Research shows that about a third of people with breakthrough infections have signs of long-term COVID.
A separate report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that up to a year after initial coronavirus infection, 1 in 4 adults age 65 and older has at least one underlying health problem. hidden COVID-19, compared with one-fifth of young people. .
Most people with COVID-19 recover completely. But the WHO report in Europe on Tuesday estimated that 10% to 20% develop medium and long-term symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath and cognitive dysfunction.
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