Vaccination Site (MNS Photo)

MANILA, Jan 15 (Mabuhay) –Long COVID or post-COVID syndrome may occur in those who had severe or moderate COVID-19, and they may benefit from mental and gentle physical exercises, a Department of Health (DOH) official said on Saturday.

“Hindi lahat ng nagka-COVID ay magkakaroon ng post-COVID syndrome. Nangyayari ito sa severe at moderate cases,” DOH Undersecretary and treatment czar Leopoldo Vega said.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) last October, people usually recover from COVID-19 in two to six weeks. However, for some people, symptoms last longer for weeks or months after the infection has gone and this is referred to as post-COVID or long COVID.

“Napansin ito hindi lang sa Pilipinas kundi sa worldwide na mga 14% na severe at critical cases nagkakaroon talaga ng ganoong klaseng post-COVID syndrome,” he added.

Vega said majority of those who contracted COVID-19 are able to recover well and resume work. However, around 10% to 14% take a longer time to get back to work due to post-COVID symptoms.

“Pero meron talaga ng mga porsyento na nagkaroon ng moderate or severe case na medyo mabagal ang pagbalik mo [sa trabaho] dahil nagkaroon ka ng exercise intolerance. Parating pagod, nanghihina, at pangalawa, nagkakaroon ka ng… mahirap ang cognitive functions mo. ‘Yung brain mo ano, mahirap ka sa concentration at sa memory. Mga 10 to 14% lang naman sa mga nagkaka-COVID,” he said.

(But there is a percentage of those who got moderate or severe case that may take a longer time to get back to work because of exercise intolerance. You are always tired and feel weak. And second, your cognitive functions are affected. Your brain is having a hard time with concentration and memory. Around 10 to 14% of those who contract COVID-19 [get long COVID or post-COVID syndrome.)

A new study has shown that some people who got COVID-19 report having “brain fog” after their infection, and this is similar to a “chemo brain” or the mental cloudiness that may be experienced during and after cancer treatment, Reuters reported.

Vega said COVID-19 may damage blood vessels and the alveoli in lungs.

“Ang COVID-19 tinatamaan blood vessels, nagkakaroon ng konting damage ‘yan. Unti-unti naman babalik ‘yan,” he said.

Vega advises those with long COVID to do simple exercises such as walking. They should also get proper sleep and nutrition.

“Konting exercises, maglakad-lakad. Tama ang tulog, proper medication,” he said, adding that breathing exercises can help.

Vega also suggests doing mental exercises such as playing chess. Listening to classical music which is like meditation helps the mind relax.

“‘Pag ginagawa mo naman ang physical exercise, wasto ang pagkain mo, unti-unti namang babalik ‘yan… Good rest, good sleep, good nutrition, and vitamins. Wala talagang gamot ang post-COVID. Patience lang,” he added.

Vega also said those with long COVID may also consult respiratory therapists for help in restoring lung function. (MNS)

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