2023 APSR: Covid-19 Still Poses Health Risks
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Covid-19 pandemic has been declared ended by governments around the globe. Despite its endemic status, people are still expected to remain aware of the infectious disease as it may pose severe health risks, especially to certain groups of people. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), despite the end of the public health emergency declaration, COVID-19 remains a global threat.
“Those who were infected with COVID-19 can suffer from Long-Covid if it’s not treated properly,” said a director of the Respiratory Therapy Dept in Taipei General Hospital Prof. Yang Kuang-yao, in his notes on the sidelines of the 2023 Asian Pacific Society of Respirology (APSR) congress at Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre, Singapore, on November 17, 2023.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC, on its website, stated that several people who were infected with COVID-19 can experience long-term effects from the infection, known as Long COVID. It is broadly defined as signs, symptoms, and conditions that continue or develop after acute COVID-19 infection.
Meanwhile, Infectious Disease Specialist at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital in Singapore, Dr Leong Hoe Nam, said that even regular booster shots are needed in addition to maintaining a healthy lifestyle to prevent Covid which may lead to a Long Covid.
“Because the virus keeps adapting and our body, our immunity keeps ‘forgetting’,” he said in a discussion on the sidelines of the 27th APSR Congress on Nov. 17.
WHO reported that following the first wave of the original Wuhan strain, the emergence and spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants have resulted in new waves of infection across the globe. As transmission persists, SARS-CoV-2 continues to evolve into variants that are more contagious and have increased immune escape following infection or vaccination.
Patients experiencing COVID-19 symptoms are, therefore, advised to promptly seek medical consultation and get tested immediately, regardless of symptom severity, as COVID-19 can progress to severe disease suddenly, especially in those with certain conditions, as stated by WHO.
In addition, "Oral antiviral treatment can help reduce hospitalization or duration of symptoms, and reduce long covid risk,” Prof. Yang remarked.
The 27th Asian Pacific Society of Respirology (APSR) Congress is held in Singapore from Nov. 16 to 19 at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre, under the theme of Current Practice, Future Care.
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