Study warns of underdiagnosis of persistent covid in Catalonia.

A study indicates that in Catalonia there are approximately 14,000 recorded cases of persistent covid, but who would be between 48,000 and 72,000 the people affected and not yet diagnosed for a disease which, moreover, still does not have a standardized approach throughout the country.

This is the conclusion of a study carried out by the covid governorate science advisory committee, the Multidisciplinary collaboration group for covid monitoring (in which the Col.legi de Metges and ISGlobal participate) and the experts brought together for this report.

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

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

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

Primary detection

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

However, estimates of the Covicat study, led by ISGlobal (a center financed by the “la Caixa” Foundation), multiply this figure.

According to their “cautious” calculation, this figure would amount to around 1.5 billion euros. 240,000 people in Catalonia who could have developed the covid persists at some point and, of these, between 48,000 and 72,000 people would have suffered the associated functional limitations severe forms of the disease (these are the ones that should potentially be diagnosed).

Priority attention for persistent covid is directed from the primary care centers but, with the exception of certain territories where protocols have been planned (north and south metropolis, and Lleida), there is a “the lack of standardization of the care process”, There is therefore no territorial equity, notes the report.

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

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