Public can access treatment for long Covid -Dr. Anthony

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr Frank Anthony has said persons who are suffering from the long-term effects of COVID-19 (long Covid) are being treated for their symptoms.

Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection or long Covid, as it is commonly called, describes the effects of COVID-19 which persist for weeks or sometimes months after a person was initially infected with the disease. Lasting symptoms of the disease include fatigue, breathlessness, brain fog (lack of focus), chest pains, joint or muscle pains, palpitations, anxiety or depression.

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony

In his COVID-19 update on Monday, Dr. Anthony said local doctors have familiarised themselves with the literature surrounding the symptoms, and have begun to administer treatment.

The Minister also said it was observed that several of the persons diagnosed with long Covid are those with underlying health conditions.

“With the cases that we see popping up, we’re able to administer the relevant treatment… Mostly the signs and symptoms that we’re seeing – in some cases we’ve had younger patients that presented with cardiac symptoms, in other cases may be symptoms of the kidney … they’ve been able to treat those patients and continue to treat them.

We have also noticed that some people who would have recovered from COVID continue to exhibit things like, kinds of hallucinations and other difficulties. So, again, once they have these things, we will continue to work with them,” he said.

At the same time, Dr. Anthony said the Ministry’s surveillance team is actively following up on patients with the disease, and those who have recovered from it. He also advises persons who believe that they are experiencing long Covid to inform their doctors of their medical histories as this is critical to treatment. 

“Even if the people go, if the persons go home, and after maybe a couple of weeks they feel that they are getting whatever signs or symptoms they can always come back to one of the hospitals, so that we can check.

And it’s very important for patients who would have recovered from Covid, if they are coming back within a short period of time to the hospital, to explain to the doctor that they had Covid in the past so that that history is known because sometimes, people can ignore some of these things, which are very important,” he said.  

Minister Anthony said while the Ministry does not yet have statistics related to long Covid, it would be able to compile same utilising the list of persons who have recovered from the disease, and those experiencing long Covid to determine the rate of incidences in Guyana.