(Expansion) – Poor patients. His story, after COVID-19, can bring with it other consequences: a misdiagnosis, more spending, complications to guarantee his social security, the mystery that implies not being clear about what consequences the virus could cause in his health in the medium and long term. …
The pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 is closer to becoming endemic; however, it drags with a file still pending to be resolved; the lack of clarity of health systems to determine if the virus left a legacy in infected people and what clinical protocols to follow.
This story runs like this:
Towards the second half of 2020 and until the third quarter of 2021, the whole world socialized various terms: long COVID, prolonged COVID, COVID sequelae… But, for the health authorities, it was neither one thing nor the other. In other words, it is not that COVID-19 continues and becomes long, but rather that it is something that happens Post-COVID. In other words, the person acquires COVID, recovers, and then manifests symptoms that may (or may not) be related to the virus.
On October 6, 2021, the WHO released the Delphi Consensus that gave way to the term that definitively breaks with the entire collection of names already cited: Post-COVID Condition, which occurs in individuals with a history of SARS-CoV infection. -2 Probable or confirmed usually three months after the onset of COVID-19, with symptoms that last for more than two months and cannot be explained by an alternative diagnosis.
The signs and symptoms can be many and varied, but there are others that impact the functioning of daily life. That is the key point; that have an impact on the person’s daily life and the symptoms may be new onset after initial recovery from acute COVID-19 or persistent from the initial illness and may also fluctuate or recur over time. In the case of girls and boys, the symptoms may be different.
The WHO has already proposed to the world the definition of what can continue with COVID-19. Now, the health authorities of all countries must define the policies to follow to treat this disease, but that is where the risks lie, since the scientific community warns of the possibility that an interest, not a health one, tries to influence the process and so make a profit.
Who is to say what is needed for the Post-COVID Condition? The doctors? The pharmaceutical industry? The insurers? The governments?
Little is known in Mexico if work is being done on what is known in the health industry as the Clinical Practice Guide, which is the document that governs the work of doctors for each disease. Currently, there is no news of the Clinical Practice Guideline for the Post-COVID Condition.
According to medical research, COVID-19 can cause alterations in any part of the body. The most common: headache, changes in attention, decreased sense of smell, memory loss. But there are also pulmonologists who maintain that a fragment of the virus protein causes lung fibrosis, cardiologists who say that it damages the heart, neurologists that it affects the brain, nephrologists the kidney and hepatologists the liver.
Suddenly it seems that there is a battle between the specialists of the different medical specialties to see who announces the next misfortune. Yes, there are undoubtedly repercussions of the infection in various parts of the body, but so far there are no clear definitions, through a Clinical Practice Guideline, for the Post-COVID Condition.
This is no small thing. It is not simply a medical order. There are other implications. With a Clinical Practice Guideline for the Post-COVID Condition, misdiagnosis and abuse against patients would be avoided. Until that happens, we run the risk of falling into a “pathologization” of the COVID-19 situation; think everything is COVID-19.
“The critical point with the Post-COVID Condition is that we have to build an agenda to identify, make visible, investigate the phenomenon, at the same time that we care for patients and propose what is going to be done to them,” says Mauricio Rodríguez, spokesperson of the University Commission for the Attention of the Coronavirus Emergency of the UNAM.
Thus, today, any scenario is possible: not receiving a disability because the Post-COVID Condition is not in the catalog of diseases; that the doctor prescribes without being clear about the procedure to follow in the event of a symptom that can lead to serious damage; that the patient takes a cocktail of pills that are not necessarily going to cure him (with the blow to his pocket); that insurance policies do not cover medical and hospital care for this new disease.
In the middle of all that are the patient and his family. That is why it is urgent that a Clinical Practice Guide for the Post-COVID Condition be materialized and implemented at the first level of care. That the medical and scientific community manifest themselves. What can happen is that we adopt the United States and European Guidelines, which are about to come out, we tropicalize them and that’s it.
Conclusion: not everything is COVID and nothing is COVID, we have to find a middle ground where safety and care for patients who are experiencing something with the Post-COVID Condition is guaranteed. Your health is at stake.
Recently, the Ministry of Health released the 2021 National Health and Nutrition Survey on COVID-19, based on mathematically calculated surveys to be representative of the country, which have a demographic component and some are accompanied by laboratory interventions. The ‘movie’ it offers is from August to November 2021.
As has already been said, COVID-19 triggered obesity and chronic diseases, but there are also other data that were released during the survey period and that deserve attention:
– 3,027 people required medical attention; of this figure, 23% were seen at the IMSS, 22 at private clinics, 16.4 at health centers, 19 at pharmacy clinics, 5.5 at private hospital clinics, and 3.2 at other private services (all figures are handled in percentages). ). That is, 67.2% attended private health services.
– 73.8% of the population over 18 years of age had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 48.2% the full schedule; more than 80% of the population older than 40 years reported having received at least one dose.
– Regarding the Universal Vaccination Program, 72.5% of children under one year of age do not have a complete schedule. What does that mean? There is low coverage with complete vaccine schedules for early childhood, which can lead to the reintroduction of some pathogens.
Editor’s note: Jonathán Torres is managing partner of BeGood, Atelier de Reputación and Storydoing; business journalist, media consultant, former editorial director of Forbes Media Latam. Follow him on and on Twitter as . The opinions published in this column belong exclusively to the author.