'10-20% suffer long Covid'
The Department of Medical Services (DoMS) has found about 10-20% of Thai Covid-19 patients are suffering a post-syndrome, also known as 'long Covid' symptoms after their recovery.
The condition is also associated with age and obesity, according to the department.
Several terms have been used to describe the protracted Covid-19 symptoms following recovery. 'long Covid' is one of them.
Dr Piamlap Sangsayan, Pulmonary Medicine chief of the DMS' Central Chest Institute of Thailand, said that the prevalence of long Covid symptoms may increase with age, obesity and daily steroid use.
The long Covid symptoms -- including fatigue, muscle pain, headache, and depression -- may occur from the body's reaction or side effects of drugs administered to the patients during treatment. Some conditions linger well beyond the period of treatment.
Citing the DMS's statistics, Dr Piamlap said between 10-20 % of Thai patients are found to have experienced long Covid symptoms after their recovery, while the condition affects about 40-50% of sufferers post-treatment in other countries.
She added the lower rate among Thais may be attributed to the possibility that people who experienced the symptoms did not provide information to the health authorities after they fully recovered.
From the first and second Covid-19 outbreaks, the data also showed that 5-10% of patients were found to have experienced fascia pain, which took about 6 months to a year to recover from.
The treatments were tailored according to the symptoms. Once recovered, people enter a rehabilitation programme.
Most patients will gradually recover from the long Covid symptom after a month. In severe cases, a full recovery may take up to six months.
Furthermore, Covid-19 vaccine recipients have less chance of getting long Covid symptoms as the vaccine provides protection against the condition, Dr Piamlap said.
Dr Piamlap said that patients who suffer pneumonitis after recovery are not categorised as long Covid sufferers as the virus is dead.