COURT HOUSE – According to a statement from Cape Regional Health System (CRHS), the syndrome of symptoms known as long Covid is present in Cape May County and is having “an impactful presence in our community.”
Long Covid is a term used for the persistence of Covid symptoms weeks and even months after infection with the virus. In many cases, the initial bout with the virus might have been mild. Covid patients of all ages have been diagnosed with long Covid, but it is more prevalent in patients 35 to 70, according to international studies.
A disturbing aspect of long Covid is its presence in as many as 10% of children infected with the virus. The American Academy of Pediatrics states, “Although children and adolescents may have less severe acute illness than adult populations, Covid can lead to many secondary conditions, which can range from subacute to severe. Long-term effects from SARS-CoV-2 infection may be significant, regardless of the initial disease severity.”
Speaking of the syndrome in children, Yale Medicine said, “Some of these patients didn’t even know they had Covid until their long Covid symptoms developed.”
One recent study from the United Kingdom had a study group of 270,000 adultsand concluded that over one in three experienced some form of long Covid. The experience can vary in intensity. In some cases, there is the danger of even longer-term health problems. Other studies indicate that 20% to 30% of patients infected with the virus that causes Covid experience some form of persistent problems.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), long Covid can involve difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, excessive fatigue, trouble thinking and concentrating, cough, headaches, chest pain, and a series of other maladies.
Individuals impacted by long Covid, often termed long haulers, have established groups on social media to share their experiences. One problem is that the syndrome has an uncertain endpoint.
A study in The Lancet, a highly respected peer-reviewed medical journal, states that individuals who are fully vaccinated have a much lower risk of long Covid if they get infected with the virus.
CRHS’ statement notes, “Cape Regional Health System is definitely caring for patients with long Covid – specifically in our physicians group.”
The statement continues, “The medical coding specifically for long Covid is new, and, as a result, quantifying the past can be difficult. As we move forward, the new medical codes will allow us to track trends in patients experiencing long Covid symptoms.”
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