HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – November 1, 2023 – The Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) School of Chinese Medicine found that 55% of patients who visited the “HKBU Chinese Medicine Telemedicine Center for COVID- 19” during the fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to have at least one long COVID symptom for six months to a year after infection diagnosis. The most common symptoms are fatigue, brain fog and cough.
The study also found that patients who took Chinese medicine after COVID-19 infection took less time to get a negative result in rapid tests and experienced significant relief of their symptoms compared to patients who did not take Chinese medicine.
The research findings have been published in a number of articles in international academic journals, including the
Journal of Medical Virology And
The American Journal of Chinese Medicine.
HKBU established the “HKBU Chinese Medicine COVID-19 Telemedicine Center” in 2021 during the fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Hong Kong to provide free telemedicine services to COVID-19 patients . Referring to the treatment protocols and clinical experiences in mainland China, the expert team from the HKBU School of Chinese Medicine formulated the “Chinese Medicine Clinical Guidelines for COVID-19 in Hong Kong” as as the University’s clinical diagnosis and treatment standards for COVID-19. The telemedicine center follows guidelines to provide diagnostic, treatment and prevention services to COVID-19 patients, close contacts and caregivers.
Cough is the most common first symptom of infection
The HKBU research team led by
Professor Bian Zhaoxiang, director of the clinical division of the School of Chinese Medicine, conducted a retrospective study using patient statistics collected by the Telemedicine Center during the fifth wave of the pandemic. The team analyzed symptoms during the first four weeks of approximately 13,000 patients infected with COVID-19 between mid-March and early May 2022 and who were isolated at home.
The results showed that 93% of patients had at least one symptom. The most common symptoms during the first week of infection were cough (91%), sputum (75%), dry throat (50%), and sore throat (44%). 17% of patients still had these symptoms four weeks after infection. Although symptoms gradually subsided over time, the prevalence of fatigue increased.
Chinese medicine accelerates viral clearance
Among this group of patients, the research team selected 311 patients who had taken Chinese medicine for five days within 10 days after diagnosis, and another 311 patients who had not taken any Chinese medicine during the same period, in order to evaluate the effectiveness of Chinese medicine.
The results showed that patients who took Chinese medicine within 10 days of COVID-19 infection took an average of seven days to get a negative result in rapid tests, and had an average of four symptoms, which were significantly milder than patients who did not take it. Chinese medicine. The average time to get a negative test for patients who were not taking Chinese medicine was eight days, and they had an average of 11 symptoms. Results show that Chinese medicine is an effective treatment for COVID-19 infection.
More than half of patients suffer from long COVID after six months
The research team conducted a follow-up telephone survey from November 2022 to January 2023 among 6,242 COVID-19 patients who visited a doctor at the telemedicine center between December 2021 and May 2022 to understand their symptoms and factors. of risk after six months to a year. infection.
The study found that 55% of patients still had at least one long-term symptom, namely “long COVID” or “post-COVID syndrome.” The most common symptoms were fatigue (36%), brain fog (34%), and cough (31%). In addition, women, middle-aged people, obese people, those with comorbidities such as ophthalmological or otolaryngological diseases, digestive system diseases, respiratory diseases, hyperlipidemia and cardiovascular diseases, as well as patients with more initial symptoms were more likely to develop long COVID. However, there was no significant correlation between taking three or more doses of vaccine and the occurrence of long COVID.
Professor Bian said: “HKBU established the telemedicine center during the COVID-19 outbreak to provide free treatment to COVID-19 patients. We analyzed data from the center to deepen the medical community’s understanding of symptoms early and mid-illness. The study also shows that Chinese medicine teleservices can be an important part of health and disease care in Hong Kong. prevention system. »
To address issues related to long COVID, Professor Bian’s team launched a series of clinical and basic research, including a survey of diabetic COVID-19 patients and a clinical trial conducted in collaboration with others partners to study the effectiveness, safety and mechanism of action. of senlingcao oral liquid in the treatment of long-term fatigue due to COVID. These projects aim to further explore the impact of COVID-19 and its treatment options.
Hashtag: #COVID #LongCOVID #postCOVIDsyndrome
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