EU to create network of national experts on long COVID which has affected 17 million Europeans, Kyriakides tells CNA

The European Union will create a network of national experts to address challenges related to long COVID, that is the long term symptoms experienced by patients that went through the disease, Commissioner for Health Stella Kyriakides told the Cyprus News Agency, after her participation in Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council in Brussels on Tuesday. So far, 17 million people across the EU have been affected by long COVID, with the numbers continuing to rise. Kyriakides told CNA that during Tuesday’s discussion with the Health Ministers of the EU, she called on all to ‘rise to this challenge together,’ and that it requires cooperation and coordination. ‘From our side, we are creating a network of national experts under the EU Health Policy Platform so that together we can address challenges related to the management of long COVID,’ the Commissioner said. ‘A lot of progress has been made in understanding Long COVID, but we still need more answers about its causes and the most effective treatments,’ she added. ‘I have called on Health Ministers to give their support and actively participate in this network so that progress can be achieved without delay. Together, we must continue to face long COVID through collaboration, sharing of expertise and knowledge, and the development of common solutions,’ she stressed. The European Union has so far invested over 42 million euros on six research projects on long COVID and an additional amount over 66 million euros to support large cohort studies on COVID under Horizon Europe. During her participation in the Council of Health Ministers on Tuesday, Commissioner Kyriakides pointed out that ‘as many as one in eight people experience symptoms that last longer than expected’, which include ‘a range of physical and psychological symptoms, such as fatigue, shortness of breath, or depression’. ‘These symptoms can be debilitating. They can turn your world upside down. They can impact on every single aspect of your life,’ she added. The EU is determined to continue to support research into the causes, consequences, and treatment of long COVID, Kyriakides stressed.

Source: Cyprus News Agency