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Adolescents and young adults disclose increased challenges with Long Covid symptoms

New research conducted by the Dutch public health institute RIVM reveals that while 3% of Dutch adults aged 25 and above continue to grapple with issues post-coronavirus infection, the percentage rises significantly to 5% among teenagers and young adults. These individuals reported experiencing lingering symptoms associated with Long Covid, with nearly a quarter of older adults and one in five young respondents feeling severely restricted in their daily activities. Common symptoms cited include exhaustion, memory loss, concentration difficulties, and shortness of breath.

Elderly respondents highlighted challenges in fulfilling their responsibilities, such as household chores or work. Additionally, the study found that a substantial portion of both older adults (36%) and young individuals (39%) had received a Long or Post-Covid diagnosis from their family doctor.

The RIVM underscored the enduring impact of the coronavirus pandemic, emphasizing the need for comprehensive understanding and management of long-term crises. The research, conducted in collaboration with regional health boards and other entities, aims to inform policymakers on effective strategies for addressing future crises of a similar nature.

Earlier in January, Dutch researchers identified a biological cause of persistent fatigue in Long Covid patients, noting decreased energy production in muscle cells compared to healthy individuals. As Long Covid affects up to 100,000 people in the Netherlands, various initiatives are underway to tackle the condition.

In December, preparations commenced for a significant research project to explore the efficacy of existing medications in alleviating Long Covid symptoms. The project, supported by a Dutch health ministry grant of €32 million, will investigate the impact of readily available drugs like Metformin, typically used to treat diabetes.

Furthermore, in February, parliamentarians allocated €27 million to establish specialized clinics for Long Covid patients, overcoming previous reluctance from former health minister Ernst Kuipers. The move addresses the need for dedicated treatment centers, as hospitals and insurance companies cited funding constraints as a barrier to action.

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