What is Long Covid and What You Need to Know?

Estimated reading time 5 minutes

10Life Team

23 May 2022
個人攰攰地 係咪患咗「長新冠」?
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10Life Team

23 May 2022

Estimated reading time 5 minutes

香港不少感染過新冠肺炎的人,都自覺身體差了。越來越多研究顯示「長新冠」(Long Covid)或是「新冠後遺症」是一個確實存在的問題,大約10%至20%的人在最初的病情痊癒後會受到各種各樣的中長期影響。一般市民有甚麼要知道,又如何去作出防範呢?又會否影響投保呢?

1. 甚麼是長新冠?


世界衛生組織的臨牀定義,新冠長期症狀通常「在染疫後3個月內出現、持續至少2個月,並且無法由其他診斷解釋」,症狀持續數周、數月甚至長達一年。

2. 有甚麼症狀?


雖然大多數新冠肺炎患者能夠徹底痊癒,但有些人會出現各種各樣的中長期症狀,包括:

  • 乏力
  • 呼吸急促或呼吸困難
  • 記憶力、注意力衰退(俗稱腦霧Brain Fog)
  • 睡眠出現問題
  • 持續咳嗽
  • 胸痛
  • 說話困難
  • 肌肉痛
  • 喪失嗅覺或味覺
  • 抑鬱或焦慮
  • 發熱
這些症狀可能在最初患病時就出現並持續存在,或在痊癒後出現。症狀也可能隨着時間推移而起伏或復發,最終會影響日常生活,例如工作或家務等等。

3. 長新冠喺香港情況有幾嚴重?


由2020年10月至2022年1月,理工大學為5間醫院轉介的118名新冠肺炎患者進行體能評估,包括肺功能、心臟輸出及運動耐力等,發現逾4成人在染疫後6至12個月內仍受長新冠困擾,而約43%人在染疫後1年仍有「疲勞綜合症」情況。

4. 部份康復兒童出現後遺症?


瑪嘉烈醫院兒童傳染病科顧問醫生關日華稱,他為超過130名確診兒童覆診,發現當中有一成新冠康復兒童懷疑出現「長新冠」徵狀,包括失去味覺、嗅覺、記憶、認知、集中能力變差等,全部當時未有打針。

同時,他表示,部份染疫兒童康復後,出現兒童多系統發炎綜合症,逾半個案甚至需要入住深切治療部,大部分均未接種疫苗。該綜合症影響兒童的心臟、肝臟及腦部。他呼籲家長若發現子女康復後,出現發燒、皮膚出疹及眼紅等徵狀,應立即求醫,並重申接種疫苗是最好的預防措施。

5. 治療方法有甚麼?


根據世衛指出,如果你認為自己可能受到了「長新冠」影響,請諮詢醫生並尋求其幫助,並為你提供管理症狀所需的治療。

目前,還沒有針對長新冠的特定藥物療法。然而,有數據表明康復治療(Rehabilitation)可能會有效,惟現時全球醫療專家仍在探討「長新冠」的出現原因及治療方法。

6. 康復治療包括甚麼?


有醫生指出,紓緩長新冠要針對出現病徵的器官做一些康復治療,如因新冠病毒致肺功能下降,通常可由專科醫生和物理治療師制訂康復計劃,如做針對肺部的運動;另外若病毒令腦部受損,出現認知功能障礙,可找腦科專科醫生,很多時職業治療師或臨牀心理學家亦參與其中。

當然,上述是一些比較嚴重的長新冠症狀或後遺,一般人是較輕微的長新冠症狀例如疲累或持續咳嗽,未必一定要驚動專科醫生,可以進行的紓緩治療包括:

  • 提升身體免疫力;
  • 多作休息,每天保持充足睡眠,盡量讓大腦放鬆;
  • 進行適量運動,包括慢跑等簡單運動訓練肺活量。

7. 如何避免不受長新冠影響?


保護自己不受「長新冠」影響的最好方法,是盡一切努力避免感染新冠病毒,包括接種疫苗和遵守各項公共衛生和社交措施,減少感染和傳播病毒機會。保護自己不會感染新冠肺炎的最好方法是採取綜合行動,包括:

  • 與他人至少保持1米身體距離
  • 佩戴合適的口罩遮住口鼻
  • 開窗
  • 咳嗽或打噴嚏時用手肘遮掩
  • 勤洗手
  • 輪到你的時候立即去接種疫苗

8. 患上長新冠會否影響往後投保?


10Life早前曾進行一項研究,調查保險公司會否因應香港人曾患上新冠肺炎而作出拒保行為,發現保險公司會就患者的病歷,包括是輕症或重症,會增加不同的核保要求。

保險公司一般指出,曾患輕症的康復者,若果完全康復而且沒有任何併發症,康復後1個月即可以進行標準核保程序,並可能會要求提供醫療證明以得悉臨床病情。

故此,當醫生認為你已經康復,並判斷沒有後遺症(亦即是沒有所謂「長新冠」症狀),其實應及早投保。

若果是曾患重症的康復者,包括曾進入深切治療部或出現嚴重併發症,或者出現較嚴重的後遺症,將會以醫療角度逐個個案審視。而這些康復者很多時候會被保險公司嚴格核保,即使康復多時買保險仍會有困難。

註:本文最後更新日期2022年5月23日

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