Post-acute Covid-19 disease: Q&A with Dr Miodrag Todorovic |29 May 2021
The road to recovery can be challenging for those diagnosed with Covid-19, as some people may experience lingering symptoms for weeks or even months, a condition known as post-acute Covid-19 disease.
In response to this, Panafricare Clinic has created and recently launched a post Covid-19 clinic to support and care for patients who develop this disease.
In an interview with the Seychelles NATION, Dr Miodrag Todorovic, founder of Panafricare Clinic, shares his knowledge about chronic Covid-19, as well as his advice about its management and treatment.
Seychelles NATION: What is post-acute Covid-19 disease and what is your clinic seeing on a local scale?
Dr Todorovic: During the pandemic, the clinical condition of those who were manifesting severe, moderate and even mild symptoms progressed slowly, that doctors over this year of collected experience, were able to state that not only acute disease in SarsCov2 infection was a burden for patients, families, the medical sector and the whole world, but that there are extended deleterious effects on the condition of individual health in the aftermath.
They are not yet medically able to attribute this to see specific biological processes, but it is clear that 10 - 20% of patients or even more who were affected with the disease have an extended form that lasts more than four weeks, even months. Long-term medical conditions lasting over a year are not yet known enough. This is what we call post-acute Covid-19 or chronic Covid-19 disease.
We did not have so many patients accessing the private sector after recovery to seek help. We question everyone about having had Covid-19 but have not encountered many so far. However, I am sure that very soon there will be quite a few of them.
Seychelles NATION: Are there any groups of people who are more at risk?
Dr Todorovic: Yes indeed, sub-acute and chronic Covid-19 affect the lungs, heart, kidneys, brain, practically the whole body and can manifest by local and general symptoms. Normally, some people are more prone to be at risk due to pre-existing conditions such as diabetes hypertension, kidney function, lung disease etc, but there are totally healthy and young people that suffer depression, loss of smell and taste, and other neurological symptoms.
Seychelles NATION: What are the signs and symptoms associated with this condition and how is it diagnosed?
Dr Todorovic: First of all, patients have a long convalescence with extended post-viral fatigue syndrome, they’re unable to resume normal activities or daily life, they have psychological distress with depression and sleepless nights etc. Then shortage of breath connected to lungs or cardiac failure, reduced urine production, water retention due to chronic kidney failure and even skin manifestations.
Diagnosis is always based on the history of the acute Covid-19 form and on symptoms present during clinical examination, including typical laboratory changes. There is a panel of markers that can confirm that the “storm” is still dragging tails, and following these tests, we can evaluate the speed of improvement or worsening in the patient’s condition.
Seychelles NATION: Is there anything that patients can do to prevent getting chronic Covid-19 disease?
Dr Todorovic: It is difficult to predict or advise as unclear factors are still playing a role, but what is sure is that prevention is rather in the healthy life control of blood pressure and diabetes etc. Once the pandemic is over it will be easier to measure the impact of these chronic conditions, and also the social determinants of health on the outcome of Covid-19. For now the first research shows the importance of genetic structure and immune response, and this is in focus.
Seychelles NATION: What is your advice for the management and treatment of post-acute Covid-19 disease?
Dr Todorovic: My advice for our small nation is for everyone who has had Covid-19 disease to check the basic panel to ascertain the good functions of their vital organs (the first check should be four weeks after the disease). Should this test show any abnormality, a follow-up should be ordered and appropriate treatment given.
Seychelles NATION: We understand that Panafricare Clinic has launched a post Covid-19 clinic. Tell us more about this.
Dr Todorovic: Panafricare Clinic is in its mission and vision, conceived to work on clinical prevention and evaluation of all chronic conditions, and in view that this year of the pandemic practically left chronic patients in every country out of the health system due to occupancy and busy hospitals, we had an usually high influx of patients, and organisation-wise we believe that by opening the clinic for sub-acute and chronic Covid-19 patients, we may help the population by an open door and technical laboratory capacity.
As far as I know, we are the first in the country and we structured the service in a way that we can offer an entry check-up package four weeks after the disease, and should the need arise for specific findings at that stage, we have a check-up package for follow up. It includes tests related to biomarkers and other functional tests, both cardiac and pulmonary kidney function tests, blood clotting disorder identification etc, including even psychologist support and therapy.
For any questions and further information, contact Panafricare Clinic:
- Telephone: 4 321 310
- Email: email@example.com