Heart problems, shortness of breath, fear: How Long Covid strikes patients – a look at the rehab facilities

Long Covid has a long impact on the lives of those affected

A man works out on a treadmill in a rehab facility to build stamina after a corona infection.

(Photo: dpa)

Berlin According to current experiences from rehab, long-covid sufferers are confronted with very different serious symptoms. “There is by no means just one clinical picture – in our facilities we have to deal with a whole host of different symptoms,” said the President of the German Pension Insurance Association, Gundula Roßbach, of the German Press Agency in Berlin.

“We are increasingly noticing that people are not only currently suffering from Covid-19, but that many later develop the Post or Long Covid Syndrome,” said Roßbach. “Many patients first have to realize that it is Long Covid.”

According to a study by the Mainz University Medical Center published in December, around 40 percent of those infected with corona still have symptoms more than six months later, i.e. Long Covid. Long Covid therefore also affects infected people with mild or asymptomatic courses.

Roßbach said: “The complaints are unspecific – including heart problems, concentration problems, shortness of breath, anxiety disorders, depression or chronic fatigue.” Some of those affected were torn out of their professional lives. Some may no longer concentrate months after the actual illness and, for example, no longer understand texts.

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Depending on the symptom, rehabilitation clinics could be particularly suitable for cardiology, neurology or psychosomatics. “In many cases we are breaking new ground here because there has been a lack of well-founded empirical values,” said Roßbach. “But we are helping with the research, and we are noticing that the rehabilitation of the pension insurance, with all its instruments, is helping the people of Long Covid.”

After around 10,000 cases last year, Roßbach expects the proportion to continue to rise. In view of almost a million rehab services a year, it is not a worrying order of magnitude. If the illness is recognized as an occupational disease by accident insurance or the employer’s liability insurance association, capacities could also be used there.

Roßbach reported that the pension insurance currently also supports private rehabilitation clinics with several hundred million euros a year. “This enables us to stabilize and consolidate the rehab landscape during the Corona period.” According to the current status, support will run until March.

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