From Covid departments that are slowly emptying to those for post Covid syndrome, the worrying legacy of the Coronavirus health emergency which still needs to be treated as such. As the months go by, the number of people who, after contracting the virus, continue to show symptoms on their health does not decrease. A wide range of ailments, from minor annoyances to more disabling and worrying pathologies. More than two years after the outbreak of the pandemic, with Italian hospitals that have long been structured to cope with it, the time has come to raise the bar for treatment. So the well-known virologist thinks Fabrizio Pregliascoprofessor at the University of Milan and health director of Irccs Galeazzi, which proposes an ad hoc national health plan.
Sars-CoV-2 infection has “very relevant aftermatheffects that we will see accumulate over time “, underlines Pregliasco, adding that “more Italian hospitals should equip themselves with Long Covid centers “. His idea is that of “a national project to define how many and where”. After a Chinese study, with the longest follow-up conducted so far, showed the persistence of at least one symptom in 55% of former Covid patients even after 2 years, the expert underlines how the long-term consequences of disease are “to be thoroughly understood” and how “targeted services are needed to be made available to all”.
“There are now so many – remembers Pregliasco – evidence of the relevance of the Long Covid and the percentage of people affected, with varying intensity and length “. And if there is still” difficulty in framing this pathology “, the awareness that the lung is the main target of the acute phase of the disease is now solid , but the involvement at a distance also affects different apparatuses “.
The microbiologist also intervenes on the subject Maria Rita Gismondo. “I believe that Covid will not abandon us for a very long time, also and above all for its long-term effects that we must monitor”. Above all, “we must try to understand if” these sequelae “can be avoided with therapeutic tools”. Also in Italy “we are collecting data and drawing inferences on patients monitored after recovery from Covid – observes the director of the Laboratory of Clinical Microbiology, Virology and Diagnostic of Bioemergencies of the Sacco Hospital in Milan – We see that many have problems even after months”, also “memory problems, cognitive disturbances, most of them minor. But there was a fairly worrying study – recalls Gismondo – certainly to be confirmed over time, in which it was evaluated the volume of the brain in patients who have Long Covid symptoms, suggesting that it is reduced. “