Norwegian researchers are investigating the so-called “long COVID”

Corona testingPhoto: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB
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Sørlandet and Telemark hospitals will take a closer look at patients who feel that they are not entirely well after having COVID-19.

The research on the phenomenon, which has also been given its own name of “long Covid” will be incorporated into the research project COVITA at Sørlandet and Telemark hospitals, with the hope of mapping and testing more than 1,000 participants regularly over the next three years. 

The aim is to find out more about those who have tested positive for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 – about immunity, traceable late effects of the infection, and which factors may have increased the risk of becoming infected.

“When we begin the process of this great effort, we must listen to how things are going with those who had COVID and map out how they feel. 

“We already see the contours of symptoms and ailments that are related to this so-called ‘long Covid’ that may be a huge problem in the future, abroad and in Norway,” neurologist Randi Eikeland noted.

She noted that it was important to include the participants’ own experience in the survey.

“We have done this before here at Sørlandet hospital. We have worked with the tick-borne diseases, so we have expertise in this,” she told news bureau NTB.

There are a handful of research projects in Norway that are looking into the long-term effects of COVID-19 on patients, but this is the first one aimed at ‘long COVID.’

Online platforms

People started coming forward with their experiences with long-term COVID-19 appear the infection numbers calmed down somewhat this summer. 

While the authorities eased measures and the seriously ill recovered, many experienced difficulties concentrating, memory loss, exhaustion, or short of breath.

Many still report that they are emotionally and physically exhausted or otherwise have not recovered properly.

“They ask the question: Do we really know for sure that we will be completely healthy again after the disease?” Eikeland pointed out.

Under the hashtag #longcovid, these people have found each other via social media and other forums.

In a recent comment, editor Kari Tveito at the Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association (Tidsskrift for Den norske legeforening) noted that the phenomenon might say something about the lack of follow-up and understanding in the health care system.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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