NewsLocal29,377 people suffering from long-COVID in Cyprus

29,377 people suffering from long-COVID in Cyprus

Some 29,377 people registered in Gesy have been ill with COVID-19 and then continued to display symptoms for weeks or months after the initial illness, the ‘Long Covid Cyprus’ network said in a press conference on Wednesday.

As emerging from data collected by the ‘Long Covid Cyprus’ network, the youngest patient is five years old and the oldest is 73. Both men and women present long-COVID symptoms but the men seem to be more seriously ill, the network said.

The network has collected reported symptoms, as well as social, economic and psychological issues that long-COVID patients face, with the use of two questionnaires between October 2021 and April 2022.

The sample size was 528 people (men and women) of all social strata and ages.

From the replies received, emerges a huge need to provide psychosocial support for the patients in addition to physical healthcare, the network said.


According to the first questionnaire, one in five participants stated that they faced discrimination during and after getting sick with COVID, while 57% said they isolated themselves from their friends.

Furthermore, 25% were still facing financial problems at the time of the questionnaire and 60% still had at least one symptom of COVID-19.

After the illness, 36% of the patients reported they still had symptoms but mild ones, 26% had symptoms that were “disturbing” but not serious, 9% had serious symptoms, and 30% did not have other symptoms.

In order to deal with the symptoms after their illness, 50% said they had visited a personal physician or a special doctor, 41% did not visit a doctor, 8% only visited a medical specialist, and 1% discussed the issue with their pharmacist.

Some 9% had contacted a psychologist, 81% had not, and 10% are thinking of doing so.

The most persistent symptom mentioned by 20% of the participants that lasted after the illness was fatigue, 16% said no taste/smell, and 10% cough.

Some 60% said that they still have at least one symptom even today, 19% said the symptoms lasted more than two weeks, 17% more than one week, 12% more than three weeks, 13% more than 5-8 weeks, 10% more than four weeks, 9% more than 20 weeks and 2% more than 36-52 weeks.

Additionally, 79% of the participants had been vaccinated. Some 19% said that after the vaccination their symptoms improved, 6% said they got worse, 11% said some improved and some got worse, and 64% did not experience any change after the vaccination.

Socioeconomic challenges

The answers of the participants regarding their social life are particularly interesting.

After the illness, 20% said they have problems or difficulties regarding friends, 57% have isolated themselves from their friends, 7% have anxiety, and 7% experience fear.

After COVID-19, 25% said that they are facing financial problems but these problems are not related to their illness and 75% said that they do not have any such problems.

Sleep problems

Regarding problems during and after the illness, one in two participants said that while suffering from COVID-19 they had sleeping problems. More specifically 56% said they had disturbed sleep, 52% said they suffered from insomnia, 35% slept only for a while, and 10% had nightmares.

Most of the people who had had problems in their sleep had had support from their spouses. It is also important to note that 5% still have problems with their sleep and 35% have problems with the housework and taking care of themselves.

Regarding the problems after the illness, 97% said they tire easily, 73% have pain in their muscles/bones, 71% are out of breath easily, 52% feel confused, 39% feel concerned, 31% are afraid, 12% are indifferent, and 4% experience dizziness/headache.

Some 17% of the participants said they are still facing problems regarding housework or personal care and 23% said they are still feeling depressed.

The second questionnaire, in fact, confirmed the findings of the first one. Its target was to record the big daily problems that people suffering from long-COVID have.

Most participants (95%) said they had problems concentrating and were forgetting easily.

Asked whether they get physically more tired than before, 97% replied positively and 97% also said they experienced some problems with sleep.

Regarding their social activities, 42% said they have been affected very much, 25% enough, 20% a bit, and 12% very much.

Asked whether their long-COVID symptoms have affected other health problems, 60% replied positively.

Furthermore, 25% were still facing financial problems at the time of the questionnaire and 60% still had at least one symptom of COVID-19.

According to the World Health Organization, post-COVID-19 condition, or long COVID, refers collectively to the constellation of long-term symptoms that some people experience after they have had COVID-19.

While most people who develop COVID-19 fully recover, it is estimated that some develop a variety of mid and long-term effects like fatigue, breathlessness, and cognitive dysfunction (for example, confusion, forgetfulness, or a lack of mental focus and clarity).

Long-COVID can also, directly and indirectly, affect mental health. Prolonged suffering and distress due to long COVID can impact psychological well-being. These symptoms might persist from the initial illness or develop after recovery. They can come and go or relapse over time. The condition can affect a person’s ability to perform daily activities such as work or household chores.

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