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a network of 57 associations against persistent COVID

57 scientific and professional organizations join together to form the Spanish Persistent COVID Research Network (REiCOP) with the aim of expanding the knowledge of this disease, still an unknown for the health sector

After the pandemic and the influenzaization of COVID, the biggest remnant that remains is the persistent condition of this pathology, suffered by at least one 10% of those who have been infected by SARS-CoV-2.

The foundation of the Spanish Network for Research in Persistent COVID (REiCOP) it represents a before and after in the increase in knowledge of the disease and the regularization of the current situation of its sufferers.

Made up of more than half a hundred scientific entities, among which the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (SEIMC)the National Center for Oncological Research (CNIO) or the Spanish Society of Primary Care Doctors (SEMERGEN), indicates as the basis of its institution the need to regularize the persistent COVID situation and of deepen in her

Pilar Rodríguez Ledo, head of research at the Spanish Society of General and Family Physicians (SEMG) and president of REiCOP, talks to EFEsalut about persistent covid. Because, despite being known, there are still many unknowns to be solved.

Thus, in a multidisciplinary and collaborative manner, this network establishes a series of strategic lines based on research, teaching and the development of up-to-date care procedures.

Proposals from the persistent COVID research network

  • Research. One of the most ambitious projects of the organization is the development of a register which includes not only the clinical and genetic factors linked to the disease, but also the numbers of those who suffer from it. This record will be the basis on which the treatment approach will be based, a subject still pending. Thus, another of REiCOP’s priorities will be the study of the effectiveness of different drugs for the specific treatment of the condition.
  • teaching. REiCOP will come up with a persistent COVID training program for healthcare professionals. Although the different training proposals are still being evaluated, the idea has already been put on the table.
  • Elaboration of updated assistance procedures. So that the knowledge and practice regarding this disease is appropriate, the update of the Clinical Guide for the care of the persistent COVID patient it is a necessity. Additionally, it should be noted that along these same lines, a mobile application is beginning to be developed for the monitoring and diagnosis of patients with persistent COVID.

What is known and what is not

Beyond the proposals of this recently formed research network, the visibility of the disease must not be relegated to the background. For this reason, it is necessary to focus on what is known and highlight what is not.

There is no accurate record of patients with persistent COVID

In this sense, SEMG researcher and head of the association, Pilar Rodríguez, emphasizes the need for a register comprehensive of contagions, persistence of symptoms in those infected and clinical and genetic factors of those who suffer from it.

“Now only tests are done in situations of risk or greater than 60 yearsso it is very difficult to have real records of what is happening”, assures Rodríguez Ledo.

The only thing they cling to is different studies of SEMGwhich point out that there are 10% of patients with symptomatic persistence of COVID, although the percentage is variabledepending on the waves of the pandemic.

Of course, a recent Dutch study reveals that the percentage is actually closer to the 15%. But the truth is that there are no absolute numbers.

When does it start to be “persistent”?

As for the persistence of symptoms, the expert explains that once it exceeds 12 weeks of suffering, it is already recognized as persistent COVID.

“It doesn’t mean that it wasn’t before, but that the acute symptoms of the infection can last up to 3 or 4 weeks”, he says.

Already from 12 o’clock it is known with complete certainty that the symptomatology does not correspond to the acute phase of the SARs-COV-2but it is a little more.

Most common symptoms

According to the expert, the most frequent is that persistent COVID occurs in an intermediate age range, affecting, as a general rule, predominantly women.

The symptoms, on the other hand, are as abundant as they are vague. The most common? Many general symptoms at once.

EFE/Paco Torrente

The list provided by Rodríguez Ledo is as follows:

  • Asthenia, Fatigue, a very pronounced fatigue
  • Attention deficit, concentration
  • Headache, symptoms of the cognitive area
  • Joint pain, muscle pain, generalized
  • Tachycardia, syncope, bradycardia
  • diarrhea
  • Respiratory and digestive system problems

With such a wide amalgam of symptoms, vague approximations of who suffers from it and how and with serious deficiencies in the care that derives from the above, the initiative of this research network covid persistent opens up a range of opportunities to learn more, answer questions that are still up in the air.

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