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An Unwanted but Long-Known Company: Post-Viral Symptoms in the Context of Past Pandemics in Switzerland (and Beyond)


Staub, Kaspar; Ballouz, Tala; Puhan, Milo (2024). An Unwanted but Long-Known Company: Post-Viral Symptoms in the Context of Past Pandemics in Switzerland (and Beyond). Public Health Reviews, 45:1606966..

Abstract

Objectives: Some people do not fully recover from an acute viral infection and experience persistent symptoms or incomplete recovery for months or even years. This is not unique to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and history shows that post-viral conditions like post COVID-19 condition, also referred to as Long Covid, are not new. In particular, during and after pandemics caused by respiratory viruses in which large parts of the population were infected or exposed, professional and public attention was increased, not least because of the large number of people affected.
Methods: Given the current relevance of the topic, this article aims to narratively review and summarize the literature on post-viral symptoms during past pandemics and to supplement and illustrate it with Swiss examples from the pandemics of 1890, 1918–1920 and later.
Results: Post-viral diseases were an increasingly emphasised health topic during and after past pandemics triggered by respiratory infections over the last 150 years.
Conclusion: In the next pandemic, it should not be surprising that post-viral conditions will again play a role, and pandemic plans should reflect this.

Abstract

Objectives: Some people do not fully recover from an acute viral infection and experience persistent symptoms or incomplete recovery for months or even years. This is not unique to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and history shows that post-viral conditions like post COVID-19 condition, also referred to as Long Covid, are not new. In particular, during and after pandemics caused by respiratory viruses in which large parts of the population were infected or exposed, professional and public attention was increased, not least because of the large number of people affected.
Methods: Given the current relevance of the topic, this article aims to narratively review and summarize the literature on post-viral symptoms during past pandemics and to supplement and illustrate it with Swiss examples from the pandemics of 1890, 1918–1920 and later.
Results: Post-viral diseases were an increasingly emphasised health topic during and after past pandemics triggered by respiratory infections over the last 150 years.
Conclusion: In the next pandemic, it should not be surprising that post-viral conditions will again play a role, and pandemic plans should reflect this.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health, Community and Home Care
Language:English
Date:8 April 2024
Deposited On:12 Apr 2024 12:55
Last Modified:12 Apr 2024 14:02
Publisher:EHESP Press
ISSN:0301-0422
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/phrs.2024.1606966
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)