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A post-COVID condition in 2 million French people?


Public health France published, on July 21, 2022, the results of its first study on Covid long.

“Long COVID” or “post-COVID-19 disease” is characterized by long-lasting or persistent symptoms after initial infection.

According to the definition of the World Health Organization (WHO), “post-COVID-19 disease” or “long COVID” generally appears within 3 months of the initial infection with SARS-COV-2 and is characterized by symptoms, persisting for at least 2 months, which cannot be explained by other diagnoses and have an impact on daily life. (The WHO publishes a 1st official definition of Covid Long)

The list of 25 eligible symptoms includes: fatigue, cough, shortness of breath, malaise after exercise, intermittent fever, loss of taste or smell, depression, cognitive dysfunction.»

The study was conducted online in March and April 2022 with a representative sample of 27,537 people.

Among the respondents, 4% met the criteria for a “post-COVID-19 condition”, according to the WHO definition, i.e. 30% of those questioned who had had an infection with SARS-CoV-2 for more than three months. previously. At the scale of the French population at the time of the study, the “post-COVID-19 condition” would thus concern 2.06 million people over the age of 18.

The prevalence of “post-COVID-19 disease” decreased with time after the date of SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, 18 months after infection, 20% of people who had the infection still met the criteria for long Covid.

The healthcare professional most consulted by patients with a “post-COVID-19 condition” was the general practitioner (87%). Next came specialists in pneumology (16%), neurology (11%) and infectiology (5%). Nearly 11% of respondents with a “post-COVID-19 condition” did not seek care in the 12 months preceding the survey.

However, the results of the study should be interpreted with caution.“, highlighted Public health France. “Although the method makes it possible to ensure the representativeness of the sample, the results are based on a sample made up of volunteers recruited from a panel. The reported proportion of people who have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 is however comparable to that estimated by surveillance systems.»

This work will continue with a second study on a random sample in the general population, in order to produce more robust estimates of the prevalence and impact of post-COVID-19 disease on the use of care, mental health and life quality.»

For more information, see the links below.

Psychomedia with sources: Public Health France, WHO.
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