Why are so many corona patients struggling with lingering symptoms? Sweden wants to find out

Why are so many corona patients struggling with lingering symptoms? Sweden wants to find out
Many patients report lingering symptoms of the coronavirus. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT
Swedish health authorities are investigating the long-term effects of the coronavirus, after many patients reported that although they were suffering a relatively mild illness their symptoms refused to go away.

The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) is together with the Swedish Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Assessment of Social Services (SBU) collecting more information about the long-term effects of the coronavirus and how it affects patients.

“The absolutely best thing would be to find information on treatment to shorten or cure the condition of people who get long-term illness,” Thomas Lindén, head of the department that curates information for Swedish healthcare at the National Board of Health and Welfare, told the TT news agency.

But part of the job also includes providing the healthcare sector with more information.

“Particularly important right now is not to automatically assume that prolonged fever for several months is because of Covid-19. Other serious illnesses may be behind it and it is important that those are not turned away from the healthcare sector,” said Lindén.

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He said there are gaps in knowledge when it comes to coronavirus infections where the person is not so ill that they need hospital care, but still remain unwell for several months. The National Board of Health and Welfare looked into this eight to ten weeks ago, reports TT, but then found there was not enough information.

In early June they started working together with SBU to map out how large this group of people is, and exactly which symptoms they report. The government has now asked for additional information, and the agencies are now set to keep working on a deeper analysis this autumn before producing a final report.

The government's instructions for the inquiry are set to be published later this week, reports TT.


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