To date, over 4.7 million Italians (almost 240 million worldwide) have contracted Covid-19. The infection has caused many victims (over 131 thousand in Italy), but now, with vaccines for effective prevention, the attention of experts is focusing on another aspect of the pandemic: that of long-Covid, which could affect up to 80% of those who have contracted the infection. A theme at the center of the fundraising campaign of the Agostino Gemelli Irccs University Polyclinic Foundation of Rome – ‘Together beyond Covid’ – which starts today, to finance three research and dedicated assistance projects: post-Covid day hospital, new outpatient center of pneumology, new equipment for the microbiology laboratory.
It is possible to donate until 27 October through the solidarity number 45597, from the fixed network Tim, Vodafone, Wind, Tre, Fastweb, Tiscali, Twt, Convergenze and PosteMobile to donate 5 or 10 euros; by sending a text message to the number 45597 to donate 2 euros from a mobile phone (Wind, Tre, Tim, Vodafone, Iliad, PosteMobile, Coop Voce and Tiscali); online by credit card on the policlinicogemelli.it website.
The Foundation opened the first post-Covid day hospital in Italy and Europe, just a few weeks after the first lockdown began. “Unfortunately, despite the long Covid is now a nosological entity defined and also recognized by the World Health Organization – reads a note – to date it does not have a codified treatment (Drg) by the National Health Service and not it is contemplated at an insurance or social security level. This syndrome, which can decline for months into over 200 symptoms, more or less disabling, is largely still to be studied. The knowledge of the causes, the identification of prognostic biomarkers and elements capable of predicting its appearance could help define prevention, treatment and rehabilitation measures. Also because for many Covid survivors this is a nightmare that continues and has an important impact on the quality of life, on the ability to function “.
“The Gemelli Polyclinic Foundation – says Marco Elefanti, director general of the Foundation – is committed to doing its part, enhancing the activities of the post-Covid DH – currently still the only one of this type activated in Rome – both on the welfare side that of research and setting up brand new pulmonary clinics, integrated with state-of-the-art equipment and remote assistance. Finally, it is necessary to strengthen the activities of the microbiology laboratory that has been working tirelessly on Covid diagnostics since the beginning of the pandemic “.
“Last year at the Gemelli – he continues – 650,000 clinical samples were processed and this year 840,000 will be processed. And despite the intense clinical-assistance activity imposed by the emergency, research has never stopped. Our researchers have published numerous works on the various aspects of Covid, including the first ever on the long-term effects of the disease in the prestigious magazine Jama, the so-called long Covid. The road is still long and to move forward we need the support of all”.
These are the three projects to be funded: 1) Strengthening of the Post Covid facility in order to increase the number of patients taken in care (at the moment about 250 patients are evaluated per month, for a total of over 2,000 patients since the beginning of the activity; goal is to reach at least 500 patients per month). All the research activity on long Covid is strictly connected to this assistance activity; Rearrangement and strengthening of the Respiratory System Disease Center, among those most involved in the response to the acute phase of the disease but also in the post-Covid, both in terms of dedicated human and technological resources, and of instrumentation for assistance (also in the ‘remote assistance’ version ) and diagnostics; Support significant interventions on the Microbiology and Virology Laboratory to cope with the growing demand for diagnostic tests and the need to monitor the prevalence of variants and the onset of new ones.