Kathimerini Greece Newsroom
All citizens, young and old, should be vaccinated, scientists say, as studies show that asymptomatic patients - in the first phase - developed long Covid symptoms after months. This was emphasized in the first Internet Round Table Discussion of the 7th Round of Lectures of the Institute of Public Health of the American College of Greece on "Significant Consequences after COVID-19 Disease".
"Vaccination is necessary at all ages. This is because it has been observed that even in young asymptomatic patients long Covid symptoms appeared after four months. For example, anemia and loss of taste ", said the president of the Hellenic Neurological Society, professor of Neurology EKPA, director of the 2nd Neurological Clinic EKPA, University General Hospital" Attikon ", George Tsivgoulis.
For his part, the emeritus professor of Psychiatry of the Medical School of EKPA, Pavlos Sakkas, stated that "in order for COVID-19 disease to be a thing of the past in the coming months, we need faster vaccination coverage worldwide". In this direction was the position of the vice president of the Hellenic Pulmonary Society and professor of Pulmonology at the Medical School of the University of Crete, Nikos Tzanakis.
the end of the pandemic will leave us with significant changes in social life, such as caution in intercourse..., protection measures..., isolation, telework, avoiding crowds.
Scientists have noted that to date the only weapon against COVID-19 is vaccination . As they pointed out, a percentage of those who fell ill still face serious respiratory, neurological and mental problems.
Mr. Tsivgoulis, speaking about the neurological effects of COVID-19 disease on those who are ill, said that 1/3 of the patients who have survived face, for an unknown period of time, serious neurological disorders, such as: Fatigue or severe fatigue, difficulty concentrating, attention deficit disorder, difficulty working mentally, headache, tinnitus, anxiety disorder, psychosis, sleep disorders, painful syndromes.
However, he added, "according to the first results of scientific studies conducted in European countries, after six months it seems that any brain damage caused to patients by the disease is functionally reversible."
It leaves more neurological complications in people who were hospitalized in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or ICU and in particular women with a history of anxiety and mental disorder, as well as obese men.
Referring to the medical care of patients with neurological complications, Mr. Tsivgoulis explained that interdisciplinary cooperation is required between neurologists, psychologists, cardiologists, psychiatrists and social workers.
" Maniac swindler ", Mr. Tzanakis described the disease, adding that the virus, very often, mutates and has many keys in its arm to enter the human body . "This is happening at a time when the scientific community has not yet found the cure for the acute phase of the disease."
According to the data presented by Mr. Tzanakis, 24% of those with COVID-19 will have respiratory problems (shortness of breath, etc.) and 5% are likely to develop pulmonary fibrosis.
Nevertheless, as the first findings of studies involving Greek researchers show, 90 to 95% of patients will show improvement while 10% will have permanent lung damage.
According to the professor of the University of Crete, patients with pulmonary problems should receive special attention, as it is necessary to be examined frequently by their treating physician.
Pulmonary fibrosis is a dangerous syndrome, which completely disrupts the patient's daily life and can lead to death.
Patients who are at risk of developing pulmonary fibrosis are usually those who have become seriously ill, with high oxygen needs, have been intubated, are elderly, are men, are obese, have been hospitalized for a long time.
According to the data presented by Mr. Sakkas, no major psychological consequences have been recorded, however, during the pandemic and quarantine, there was an increase in the consumption of antidepressants and anxiolytics in the country, while it is estimated that the use of drugs such as cocaine , increased fivefold in Attica.
Specifically, as Mr. Sakkas pointed out, while we did not have major mental consequences, the patients experienced intense post-traumatic stress, depression and guilt, while also experiencing whining, calling for help, increasing consumption of antidepressants (> 20%), anxiolytics (100%) antipsychotic drugs, as well as drugs.
An important role for patients was played by the severity of the disease (isolation, quarantine, ICU), the personality of each, the conditions (social, family, work, ideological environment), financial support and loss, age, achievements of the past, a reminder of mortality, social support or stigma.
Regarding the social reactions, regarding the denial of the existence of the disease, but also of the necessity of vaccination , the professor of Psychiatry attributed them during the pandemic, as initially there was optimism for a quick end, to quarantine, to misinformation through Social Media, to denial of the existence of the disease by a small minority of the world.
Also, according to the data, there did not seem to be any psychological effects on the children, despite the fact that they were absent from school and their social interactions. This is because, as he put it, "children are more adaptable than adults and get by much easier."
Finally, Mr. Sakkas stressed that the end of the pandemic will leave us with significant changes in social life, such as caution in intercourse (kissing, shaking hands, hugs), protection measures (masks, antiseptics), isolation, telework, avoiding crowds.