The outgoing Minister of Education Vladimír Balaš admitted that health problems also led to his resignation. Among other things, he suffered from covid with a protracted course. In addition to the politician, tens of thousands of people are also suffering from health problems a few months after being infected. Up to a tenth of those infected experience complications. Although the epidemic subsided after several waves, for some people it does not end there.
“I need to get my health together. I no longer have the energy that the resort needs. I had covid, which dragged on. Then I started having problems with reduced immunity, which caused me another illness,” the outgoing Minister of Education explained to Deník N that for the decision to leave the position was also due to health problems that he developed in connection with the covid infection.
Balaš is thus the first top Czech politician to reveal that he is giving up his position due to the post-covid syndrome. “There was a heavy workload with the Department of Education, so work did not go well with health complications. Now it will be calmer for me,” Balaš added to Aktuálně.cz, who will remain only a member of parliament.
Although the Czech Republic had its first three confirmed cases of covid-19 three years ago, the epidemic has not ended for millions of people around the world. After getting through the infection, they struggle with lingering health issues. According to a study by American scientists published in Nature Reviews Microbiology, at least 65 million people are involved. Long-term health complications therefore afflict one in ten infected people.
Czech hospitals also report similar numbers. “Less than seven percent of those who were hospitalized for severe covid in our hospital went to our post-covid care center,” described pulmonologist Vladimír Koblížek from the Hradec Králové University Hospital. As of March 2020, it is more than 3,500 people.
Based on the experience of the Hradec Králové center, the so-called long covid affects approximately one in twenty patients who received treatment for the coronavirus on an outpatient basis, and one in ten who underwent hospitalization. To date, more than 4.2 million people have experienced covid in the Czech Republic, approximately 160,000 of them have not avoided its severe form requiring hospitalization. More than 42 thousand people in the Czech Republic succumbed to covid. Based on the experience of the hospital in Hradec Králové, more than 200,000 patients could experience post-covid symptoms.
Prolonged covid is often manifested by difficulty breathing, heart disease, extreme fatigue, slowed thinking, loss of appetite or smell, and nausea are also common.
Hradec pulmonologist Koblížek mainly notices a deterioration in the condition of his patients. “They have a reduced tolerance for physical stress, they don’t go uphill, but they get better with rehabilitation. Then there is frequent fatigue or they don’t sleep well, they think slowly and the whole thing takes a really long time,” he describes.
The study says that only a fraction of people will fully recover from post-covid. About 85 percent of patients who suffered from health complications two months after infection did not get rid of them even after a year.
However, a study by Israeli scientists from the non-profit KI Research Institute and the local health insurance company from the beginning of the year claims that most of the symptoms of long-term covid in people who have experienced a mild form of the infection disappear within one year. Even the Czech pulmonologist Koblížek brings more positive information. “After a period longer than two years, we only have a minimum number of sick people,” he adds.
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