The people who were infected and ill with “Corona” in the Emmendingen district last autumn and winter received a questionnaire by post from the health department. The period from October 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021 is affected. Over 2,300 questionnaires will be sent out in the next few days.
The questionnaire asks for information on the SARS-CoV-2 infection at the time, the development of the symptoms to date and the current health situation and quality of life. Filling out the questionnaire does not take longer than 15 minutes. A prepaid return envelope is included.
“We hope that as many people as possible will fill out the questionnaire,” says Prof. Dr. Winfried Kern, Head of Infectious Diseases at the Freiburg University Medical Center. Participation in the survey and subsequent investigations is voluntary. The questionnaires should be returned in any case, asks Dr. Armin Dietz, the head of the health department of the district of Emmendingen: “Please answer the questions even if the infection was mild and / or all complaints have completely disappeared”.
The project started a few days ago in Freiburg and in the Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald district and will be continued in the regions around Tübingen, Heidelberg and Ulm over the next few weeks.
The researchers are certain that with this large population-based study in Baden-Württemberg they can quickly contribute to a better understanding of the clinical picture and to the development of treatment options.
Background to the EPILOC study:
Quite a number of patients report delayed healing and lasting symptoms for weeks to months after an acute SARS-CoV-2 infection. In addition to chest pain and shortness of breath, exhaustion during physical exertion as well as concentration and memory disorders are in the foreground. This clinical picture – often called “Long Covid” – and its treatment have not yet been well researched. The university clinics in Baden-Württemberg have therefore set up special outpatient clinics for the care of these people, but also for better research into Long-Covid. The state government is funding the so-called EPILOC study, in which the type and frequency of long-lasting symptoms after COVID-19 are to be determined more precisely – with the hoped-for goal of developing effective therapies. In the first phase, selected health authorities in the catchment area of the university clinics will send the questionnaires to people who were previously infected with COVID-19. Patients with particularly pronounced Long Covid Syndrome are then invited to an outpatient examination at the respective university clinic. The diagnostic tests, with which the symptoms can then be examined more closely, should also be offered to former SARS-CoV-2 infected people without such symptoms. By comparing the results in these two groups, the scientists are trying to research which factors in Long Covid sufferers could be responsible for the long-lasting symptoms and a lack of healing.
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