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February/March 2021 (vol. 17/5)

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Long COVID and its implications at work

The OH implications of post-COVID syndrome

Summary:

The existence of long-term symptoms associated with COVID-19 infection has important implications for occupational health. Consultant occupational physician Blandina Blackburn and consultant in pain medicine Deepak Ravindran explain.

 

By mid January 2021 there had been 3.4 million cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the UK and approaching 90,000 people had died. Of those who survived, symptoms ranged from mild fever and loss of taste and smell, to severe breathing difficulties. Some individuals, particularly young people, remained asymptomatic. However, it soon became apparent that there existed a proportion of survivors among both hospitalised and non-hospitalised patients who had symptoms that persisted beyond those typically characterised by COVID-19 infection in the acute phase. This led to the realisation that COVID-19 could constitute a multisystem (syndromic) disease with long-term sequelae. Studies from patients showed that symptoms could persist or develop for eight to 12 weeks and beyond….

Dr Blandina Blackburn is consultant occupational physician at Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Deepak Ravindran is a consultant in pain medicine and clinical lead, Berkshire long COVID service at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading.

Author: Blackburn B, Ravindran D

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Occupational Health at Work February/March 2021 (vol. 17/5) pp18-24

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