11 July 2024

A senior doctor at the Faculty of Medicine of Thailand’s Chulalongkorn University has advised that it is better to protect oneself from COVID-19 infection due to the possible long-term side effects of the disease, even if they are not hospitalised.

In his Facebook post yesterday (Sunday), Dr. Thira Woratanarat backed up his public advice with latest research work on long-term side effects in people infected and recovered from coronavirus infection.

Analysis of over 80 research works on how people, who used to be infected with the virus, have a greater chance of developing long-term effects, such as fatigue and cognitive impairment.

The findings show that women are 1.5 times more likely to develop long-term side effects more than men and and adults are 3 times more likely to do so than children. One-third of the people suffering from long-term side effects need at least six months of monitoring of the symptoms, while another one-third need more than six months, not knowing when the side effects will disappear due to monitoring constraints.

Dr. Thira noted, however, that a key element of the findings is that the long-term side effects or “Long COVID” can happen to infected people who have not been hospitalised.

He also said that some research findings show a chemical compound in blood samples, which is an indication of continuing inflammation processes among the Long COVID cases.

Dr. Thira said that it is better for members of the public to protect themselves from getting infected by wearing face masks at all times, observing social distancing and avoiding crowded places.

If they do develop flu-like symptoms, such as a cough, sore throat, a fever or muscle pains, they should immediately take a COVID-19 test, he said.