By Wu Liang-yi and Jake Chung / Staff reporter, with staff writer
People recovering from COVID-19 should watch out for signs of long COVID or post-COVID conditions, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said.
Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞), deputy head of the CECC’s medical response division, on Thursday said that 787 people have sought treatment for post-COVID conditions.
People with long COVID might experience respiratory symptoms, rashes, anxiety or depression, tiredness or fatigue, cognitive issues, heart palpitations and chest pain, among other symptoms, he said.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare is tracking all COVID-19 patients for six months from the time they were diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2, he said.
The government is using the National Health Insurance Administration issued code to identify those diagnosed with COVID-19, Lo said, adding that this code is in line with the diagnostic codes used globally.
However, as long COVID is not listed as a communicable disease, people are not obliged to report their condition, he said.
The ministry has allocated NT$300 million to NT$400 million (US$10.1 milliion to US$13.5 million) to track the conditions of people recovering from SARS-CoV-2 and collecting samples from those experiencing long COVID for further analysis.
Pulmonary fibrosis is the most severe condition that people with long COVID might develop, Lo said.
Recovering patients who have difficulty breathing should undergo X-ray scans and lung function tests to ascertain that they do not have pulmonary fibrosis, he said.
Doctors might prescribe medication that can help ease and smooth the muscles of the airways leading to the lungs or mitigate the risks of developing pulmonary fibrosis, he said.
People who are experiencing symptoms of long COVID are advised to visit their nearest hospital or clinic to have a doctor evaluate their condition, Lo said.
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