Long Covid Affects Work Productivity — Prof Dr Moy Foong Ming

Long Covid can happen to any Covid-19 patient, even those who were not hospitalised, and who had mild illness.

Long Covid comprises a range of symptoms that continue for weeks or months beyond the initial Covid-19 illness. Long Covid can happen to any Covid-19 patient, even those who were not hospitalised, and who had mild illness.

They can experience persistent or late symptoms, and some patients can develop medical complications that may have lasting health effects.   

From the preliminary results of studies on long Covid among Covid-19 survivors (n=487), about one-thirds perceived that they were not in good health, compared to before they were infected.  

Upon recovery from Covid-19, the most common symptoms reported were fatigue (72.3 per cent), followed by difficulty in thinking and concentrating (59.6 per cent), joint and muscle pain (47.1 per cent), insomnia (45.5 per cent), feelings of anxiety (42.9 per cent) and depression (39.3 per cent). 

Other common symptoms were coughing (38.4 per cent), feeling nauseous (35.8 per cent), loss of smell or taste (35.3 per cent), increased heartbeat (33.2 per cent), difficulty in breathing (33 per cent), weight loss (31.9 per cent), dizziness when standing (31.8 per cent) and headaches (30.6 per cent). 

Thirty per cent experienced some of these symptoms up to six weeks after recovery, while 10 to 20 per cent and about 10 per cent experienced these symptoms up to three months and six months respectively.

About one-thirds of respondents complained that these symptoms affected their work productivity, whereby they had to reduce their work hours (64.3 per cent) or take leave from work (30.8 per cent).  

If you are a Covid-19 survivor, have you had similar or different experiences? Do participate in our survey so we can get a better picture of the conditions of Covid-19 survivors. This survey takes less than 10 minutes to complete, and it is anonymous.    

For those who are lucky not to get infected, do practise all SOPs and get vaccinated in order to protect you and your loved ones. To avoid long Covid is to avoid being infected with Covid-19.  

Prof Dr Moy Foong Ming is from the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya.

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