WHO’s New Definition of Long Covid as a Post-Covid-19 Condition

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – The World Health Organization or WHO officially releases diagnostic criteria and definitions of long covid which has been a concern for people who have been exposed to Covid-19.

In the WHO sense, it is stated that patients can experience symptoms months after the initial infection and these symptoms can be quite severe, and affect daily life.

Long covid is a concern in the medical community, because some of it is still a question mark. Most of the research is done by involving the survivors to identify their characteristics.

However, there are still many questions regarding long covid, one of which is how often it occurs and the underlying mechanism behind many of the symptoms associated with long covid.

On October 6, 2021, WHO released a clinical case definition for long covid. On its official website, WHO calls long covid a “post-Covid-19 condition”.

Launching from page gizmodo.com, the condition is defined as something that occurs in people with a history of probable or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. Symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, and cognitive dysfunction or brain fog.

Symptoms of long covid can persist since the acute infection or appear later and their severity can fluctuate over time. The symptoms persisted for at least two months before a formal diagnosis was made.

To generate these criteria, WHO conducted the Delphi consensus, which calls for gathering input from relevant experts and other stakeholders on a topic. This includes surveys of WHO staff, experts, patients, and patient researchers.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has officially added the formal diagnostic code for long covid to the latest edition of the International Classification of Disease (ICD-10).

ICD codes are used by doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies for diagnostic and billing purposes which may be of great importance to patients, who require long-term nursing and rehabilitation.

WHO has called on countries, researchers and others around the world to adopt their criteria as global standards. However, the WHO acknowledges that that may change over time as we learn more about the long covid.

WHO says Covid-19 will remain a challenge in the future. “This definition of ‘post-Covid-19 conditions’ will help advance advocacy and research but is likely to change as new evidence emerges and our understanding of the consequences Covid-19 continues to grow,” the WHO wrote.

M. RIZQI AKBA

Also read: Doctor’s Findings: Symptoms of Long Covid Can Progress to Re-treatment

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