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經濟學人下載:疫散終有時,余波尚無期(1)

Source: Economist    2021-05-17  我要投稿   論壇   Favorite  

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Long covid 

新冠病毒的長期并發癥

And now for the aftershock 

余波未平

Evidence is mounting that long covid is a real threat to global health 

越來越多的證據表明,新冠病毒的長期并發癥會對全球健康構成真正威脅

As the world enters the second year of the pandemic, two crises are unfolding. The more urgent and visible one is in poor countries like India, where a surge of covid-19 cases is threatening to overwhelm the state. India is recording more than 350,000 cases a day, and many more than that are thought to be going undetected. The suffering is grievous. Oxygen supplies at Indian hospitals are running far short of what is needed, and crematoriums are overwhelmed. 

在世界邁入新冠疫情的第二年之際,兩大危機正拉開序幕。其中更為緊迫和顯見的危機蔓延于印度這樣的窮國,新冠病例的瘋長讓整個印度正面臨著被疫情壓垮的危機。印度單日記錄病例超過35萬,據信還有大量病例未被查出。印度正面臨著沉重的苦難。印度醫院的氧氣供應遠遠不足,火葬場也不堪重負。

The other crisis is more subtle. This is long covid, which is becoming apparent in rich countries like America, Britain and Israel that have largely vaccinated their way out of the pandemic, but which will affect poor ones, too. Post-covid syndrome, to give it its formal name, is a set of symptoms affecting any part of the body that persist for at least three months after a bout of covid-19. Three stand out: breathlessness, fatigue and “brain fog”. In Britain three in every five people with long covid say their usual activities are somewhat limited, and one in five says they are limited “a lot”—which often means being unable to do even a part-time, desk-based job. 

另一個危機則相對難以察覺,即新冠病毒的長期并發癥。這一危機正逐漸顯現于美國、英國和以色列等已大規模接種疫苗,并逐漸擺脫疫情的富裕國家,但貧窮國家同樣在劫難逃。它的正式名稱是“新冠肺炎后遺癥”,指的是新冠患者在感染后出現的一系列持續至少三個月、影響身體不同部位的癥狀。其中三個最為常見癥狀是呼吸困難、疲勞和“腦霧”。在英國,有五分之三患有新冠病毒長期并發癥的患者表示自己的日;顒邮艿搅艘稽c限制,有五分之一的患者表示自己的日;顒訃乐厥芟——這通常意味著他們甚至無法從事兼職的文職工作。

The numbers are chilling. Half a million people in Britain have had long covid for more than six months. Their chances of full recovery are probably slim. The vast majority are in their working-age prime. At the last count (which does not fully take in the country’s second wave) 1.1% of Britain’s population had had long covid for at least three months—a group that includes 1.5% of those of working age. About 15% of Britain’s population had been infected by then. Applying this rate to global covid-19 cases, numbering an estimated 1.2bn so far, suggests that more than 80m people may already have long covid. 

這些數據令人膽戰心驚。英國有50萬人患有新冠病毒長期并發癥超過6個月了。他們完全康復的可能性很小。絕大多數患者正處于勞動年齡的黃金時期。英國的上一次統計數據(不完全包括英國的第二波疫情)顯示,有1.1%的人口已患有新冠病毒長期并發癥至少三個月,這其中有1.5%的人正處于勞動年齡。當時大約有15%的英國人感染新冠病毒。而全球迄今估計有12億人口,將這一比例套用在全球新冠病例上,可能已有8000多萬人患有新冠病毒長期并發癥。

The costs of the condition have yet to be tallied, but they will be huge. Britain’s National Institute for Health Research found that, in 80% of sufferers, the illness affected the ability to work. Over a third said it had weighed on their finances. 

這一情況的代價尚未計算出來,但總歸將是巨大的。英國國家健康研究所發現,80%患者的工作能力在患病后會受到影響。超過三分之一的人表示,長期并發癥給他們帶來了經濟壓力。


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