Employers Face a Health Crisis for the “Long Haul”
White Paper Summary
As challenging as 2020 was for employers and their employees, 2021 has not yet brought the “return to normal” that so many have anticipated. The human infection response to SARS-CoV-2, commonly known as COVID-19 Syndrome, has proven to be as unpredictable and inconsistent as any virus we have encountered to date. As the virus itself continues to plague the world, we now face the added complication of Post COVID-19 Syndrome (PCS), which affects 10-30% of those infected with COVID-19.
Some COVID-19 survivors, often described as “long haulers”, find themselves battling a host of symptoms for weeks to months after recovering from the initial infection.
“As deaths from COVID-19 decline, Post-COVID Syndromes linger,” said Douglas Benner, MD, MS, FACOEM, Chief Medical Officer for EK Health.
As noted in a recent webinar by Mayo Clinic, the working definition of PCS is:
- Positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for COVID-19
- Greater than four weeks from a positive test or onset of acute COVID-19
- Symptoms consistent with PCS
- Significant positive antibodies for COVID-19 in the absence of a positive COVID-19 test
How often does PCS occur? Various international studies have demonstrated the frequency of PCS ranging from 5-80%, yielding the following findings:
- In an Italian study of 143 patients, 80% had PCS symptoms at 2 months.
- In a London Survivor Study, 10% had PCS symptoms at 4 weeks.
- In a Mayo Clinic survey, 10-15% had PCS symptoms at 4 weeks.
Based on these and other studies, the current consensus estimates the average frequency at approximately 30%.
To learn more about EK Health Services, visit ekhealth.com.