- The WHO’s recent agreement on a diagnosis for the ill-defined condition, research is still in its early phases.
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research has conferred $202,000 funding to a team of academics at the University of Manitoba to explore “long-haul COVID.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently agreed on a diagnosis for the weakly defined ailment; therefore, research is still in its early stages.
“Post COVID-19 condition develops in persons with a history of suspected or proven SARS CoV-2 infection, currently 3 months after the onset of COVID-19 with symptoms that remain for at least two months and cannot be described by an alternative diagnosis,” according to the WHO.
As per the World Health Organization, common symptoms include exhaustion, shortness of breath, and cognitive dysfunction, including other disorders that affect a person’s daily life.
Alan Katz, the director of the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy and a professor of family medicine and community health sciences at the University of Manitoba, is the principal researcher.
“My fear is that the impact of COVID is now being exclusively considered in terms of hospital beds and ICU beds being occupied,” Katz explains.
“This (research) is about figuring out what our healthcare system will face in the next six months to years as more people with COVID infection progress to long-term COVID.”
According to Katz, their research has three main objectives.
The researchers want to know what percentage of persons with COVID-19 develop “long COVID,” who is most likely to be affected, and what symptoms people are experiencing.
According to Katz, the research published thus far varies greatly in terms of these questions, particularly in terms of the number of people who are affected.
“Some individuals claim it’s 10%, while others think it’s up to 50%,” Katz explains.
“If we’re preparing for our healthcare system, that’s a vital question to grasp.” More than 65,000 illnesses have been reported in Manitoba, with more than 1.7 million infections reported across Canada. It makes a tremendous difference whether 10% of those folks suffer effects or up to 50%.”
Because of an anonymised database called the Manitoba Population Research Database, which “contains information on every single Manitoban who has a contact with the healthcare system,” Katz adds, Manitoba is in a unique position to examine these research concerns.
“We can look at persons who first tested positive for COVID using this complicated database.” “Three months after the first infection, we can start looking at them and follow them forward,” Katz explains.
The team has just acquired ethics approval to access the database, and Katz anticipates that the rest of the permissions will be in place in a week or so, allowing them to start the painstaking task of sifting through the reams of data.
The team’s financing will cover a one-year study period. Katz believes the research is important to better understand the effects of extended COVID-19 on people’s health and what the healthcare system may face in the months or years ahead.
“As the time goes on, there will be more and more of them,” Katz adds, “and they may eventually overrun our healthcare system with the need for rehabilitation services and the treatment of respiratory disorders.”
“We may be overlooking a significant aspect of COVID infection’s impact.”
Source: CBC News
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