More than three years after the start of the Covid-19 epidemic, post-Covid syndrome (PCS), commonly known as long Covid, affects “several hundred thousand” people in France and care remains “unsatisfactory” , estimates Covars on Wednesday, suggesting a series of measures.
“It is essential that political decision-makers, health authorities and caregivers become aware of this problem because several hundred thousand people still suffer from PCS in their daily lives in France,” according to this advisory body, which sent an opinion to the government Start of the week.
A “chaotic” journey
Post-Covid syndrome, or long Covid, refers to the persistence of lasting after-effects several months after infection with the virus. If “scientific knowledge has progressed greatly”, there remain “persistent questions concerning the definition of PCS, its mechanisms, its diagnosis and its treatment”, notes Covars.
But it is certain that “this has consequences on individual and family trajectories but also social and economic repercussions”, such as dropping out of school or prolonged sick leave.
However, the care is “to date unsatisfactory, with a chaotic care pathway”, notes Covars, which points to “a lack of clarity of the offer, a great geographical heterogeneity, a level of knowledge of health professionals often insufficient, and a tendency to psychiatrize symptoms, in a general context of medical shortage.”
Strengthen and restructure the healthcare system
Given the “more satisfactory” care in neighboring and Anglo-Saxon countries, Covars calls for strengthening and restructuring the long-term Covid care system, to be addressed “from the more general angle of post-infectious syndromes”.
Among other things, it suggests in the territory “adapted, funded and sustainable sectors, to ensure in particular multidisciplinary, clinical, physical, psychological and social care”.
Covars also calls for “a clear, reassuring, rational and science-based communication plan to bring caregivers, patients and the general public to become aware of PCS as a real post-infectious threat”.
He also recommends “a spotlight” on long Covid in certain children and adolescents, or to “amplify and expand the French research effort”.